27 December 2017 – El Economista
Lidl is strengthening its commitment to the real estate sector. The German supermarket chain is planning to invest around €300 million next year (2018) buying up land and stores on/in which to open new supermarkets. Contrary to what most of the distribution sector is doing (the majority of retailers are selling their properties and leasing stores instead so as to focus on their core retail businesses), the German giant is standing firm in its commitment to the real estate recovery in Spain and so will continue investing.
With a current network of 540 stores, the idea is to own the largest possible number of stores. The average sales area amounts to around 1,500 m2, and so Lidl is looking for spaces measuring between 4,000 m2 and 9,000 m2, to allow space for warehouses and parking.
“Although we haven’t set an exact figure yet, the idea is to maintain the same rate of store openings as this year (2017), which means that we would open between 30 and 40 establishments in 2018”, explain sources at the company. Lidl arrived in Spain in 1994 and closed 2016 with a turnover of more than €3.335 billion, which represented an increase of 9.5% compared to the previous year. The company has also consolidated its position as the fifth largest operator in the sector with a market share of 4.3%, behind only Mercadona, Dia, Carrefour and Eroski, according to the latest market research published by the consultancy firm Kantar Worldpanel.
Presence at real estate fairs
Loyal to its real estate strategy, Lidl has already attended the recent exhibitions of the Barcelona Meeting Point fair to search for business opportunities. Moreover, it has decided to diversify its store opening strategy and enter, for example, traditional food markets (‘mercados de abastos’) and shopping centres.
In the case of the first, the German company has committed to opening stores in Barcelona, in the Sant Antoni and Vall d’Hebrón markets, and in Madrid, in the Tetuán market, in a strategy similar to the one being carried out by Mercadona. In the case of shopping centres, it has already opened its first store in this type of space in Islazul, in Madrid. Moreover, as well as new stores, Lidl is also making very significant investments in improving and modernising its existing stores.
Original story: El Economista (by Javier Romera)
Translation: Carmel Drake