Dieter Schwarz controls the Schwarz Group, the largest closely held
discount grocer in Europe, which operates the Lidl and Kaufland
supermarket chains. He controls the companies through the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung, a limited liability company with a charitable purpose. The group has more than 10,000 stores in Europe and generated $83 billion in 2011 sales.
Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG said a manager from its parent company will take over as chief executive officer, a day after the German discount retailer announced that previous CEO Karl-Heinz Holland stepped down.
J Sainsbury Plc, the U.K.’s third- largest grocer, reported the first drop in same-store sales in more than nine years as the supermarket owner joined its main rivals in succumbing to a shift away from the big chains.
Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc shares plunged the most in 11 years after the U.K. grocer said profit will decline this year as it cuts prices and improves supermarkets to fend off the increasing pull from discounters.
On a recent Saturday afternoon at a Lidl supermarket in London, a 500-gram slab of minced beef was on sale for 2 pounds ($3.21), half the price of the same product at a Sainsbury Local store a few blocks away.
Aldi’s sales growth in the U.K. accelerated to a record in the last 12 weeks as the discounter adds stores and gains shoppers with lower prices, ratcheting up the pressure on domestic market leader Tesco Plc.
Delhaize Group, the owner of the U.S. Food Lion stores, fell the most in 22 months in Brussels on concern margins will shrink further because of price cuts and maintaining U.S. sales momentum will require more spending.
Buyout firms CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and Carlyle Group LP are awaiting the outcome of Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc’s property review next week as they evaluate a bid for the U.K. grocer, said people familiar with the matter.