Are Lidl set to open their doors in Brisbane sooner than later?
The rumour looks to be true from what I have seen and heard, so it looks like the first doors opening for Lidl Australia will be in Melbourne and around other locations in Victoria.
Lidl Brisbane will have to wait a little while longer until Lidl rolls out more stores through the other States from all reports.
Now anyone that knows me and has been following knows I have a soft spot for supermarkets.
More so the supermarket chains that have been opening up in our area in Brisbane’s north.
I followed the construction and opening of Brisbane’s Costco from the start and I was a member until we moved to far away.
When I heard that Lidl was coming to Australia and the talk of them coming to Brisbane too, I had to have a look at it to see what the hype is all about.
The normal media streams are full of the same type of information talking about how this supermarket chain goes about their business and I watched a program last night that was reporting from Lidl in the UK.
A bit of Lidl History for you
Lidl is a company based in Neckarsulm, Baden-Württemberg in Germany owned by The Schwarz Group who also owns a few other chain stores too (including Kaufland).
In 1930’s Germany Lidl & Co was originally a fruit wholesaler.
As a new partner in the Lidl Business entered Lidl evolved quickly into an independent, small grocery wholesaler.
The company was destroyed during the war in 1944 and after this period they began reconstruction of the brand.
This was to take a very long time.
The first Lidl discount store was opened, these were small and based on the Aldi concept of stores.
And the rest is history with over 10,000 stores throughout the world and still growing.
From my first look at this big supermarket chain they seem to be home brand orientated as well as stocking the big well-known brands too.
So Lidl, in most regards is definitely the same as we currently have in the Australian market and are very similar to the way Aldi operates their business.
So what is the hype about Lidl?
The media here in Australia is in a bit of a frenzy with this supermarket chain on its way as there are plenty of articles to read.
I have recently read an article that reported Lidl is going ahead with plans to enter the Australia market but is keeping all of its plans quiet to keep its competitive edge.
I’d say the big two supermarkets are in a frenzy too as well as the smaller chain supermarkets.
As they all struggle with their identity and what their customers want, this potential new kid on the block is a big player when it comes to size and buying power.
The smaller operators in the supermarket area especially will end up under more pressure too as Aldi still expands and Lidl enters the market.
How big is Lidl?
To give you a little glimpse into how big this supermarket chain is in the marketplace, here are a few numbers for you to look at.
Currently Lidl has about 590 stores in the UK and roughly 10,000+ stores in 28 countries
Aldi has about 550 stores in the UK and roughly 10,000+ in 18 countries.
There are currently around 350+ Aldi stores in Australia and plenty more are opening.
So if you take this into account and running with the same ratio you could possibly see over 500 Lidl supermarkets nationwide here in Australia before we know it.
Now here are the others that take up a bit of the market place
Costco has currently 9 supermarkets in Australia and roughly 675+ in 12 countries.
Woolworths has 990+ super markets in Australia and New Zealand (Countdown).
Coles has 780+ supermarkets in Australia including six of the BI-LO branded stores.
The nice looking graph above lets you see how many supermarkets in the universe each brand currently has.
Most people in Australia wouldn’t know how large Aldi and Lidl are and the graph shows some big differences in numbers.
So what does Lidl arriving mean for us?
It will be interesting to see where they will sit in regards to pricing when they finally arrive.
To see if they come in all guns blazing, or just sit underneath everybody else to maximize their profit margin.
As long as there is quality of product at a fair price, combined with support of local suppliers I think most people will be happy!
So “What’s in it for us?”, it means more competition and product range which will mean better pricing for us in the long run.
From memory the big two supermarkets have around 80% share of the market.
So any other supermarkets coming in to disrupt and make it more competitive usually means the we get some wins in regards to pricing and in other areas too.
Keep an eye out here for more information, I’ll keep on sniffing around for more about Lidl opening here in Brisbane, eventually….
If you want to read my other thoughts on this supermarket, you can here “Big Supermarket Chain in Australia“