A major investment by German supermarket giant Lidl could mean better prices and products for customers in Danish stores.
The coming years will see 103 new Lidl stores opening across Denmark, the German company’s director for Denmark has confirmed.
Between 10-15 stores will be opened annually, and one billion kroner will be invested by the company in Denmark to that purpose in 2019, Lidl’s Denmark director Dirk Fust told media Fødevarewatch.
The discount chain is one of the world’s largest, with over 10,000 stores in 30 countries. It currently has 117 stores in Denmark.
“Our main focus is on Aarhus and Copenhagen,” Fust told Fødevarewatch.
“We only have 5 stores in Aarhus and 20 in Copenhagen. I believe there is room for 60-80 Lidl stores in the capital region. That’s a big challenge, and it costs a lot of money to open a store in Copenhagen,” he added.
The move by Lidl will stiffen competition in the discount supermarket sector as it joins stores including Netto and Fakta in contesting market share.
Netto currently has 100 stores in Copenhagen and 500 in total in Denmark.
German chain Lidl opened its first supermarket in Denmark in 2005.
“We have good stores in Jutland and on Fyn, but are under-represented in Copenhagen,” the company’s international CEO Jesper Højer, who is Danish, told Fødevarewatch.
Aarhus University associate professor Lars Esbjerg, who has researched customer relations in the food sector, said Lidl is one of a series of chain stores preparing to compete on the discount supermarket scene.
“All discount chains on the Danish market want to expand,” Esbjerg said.
“It is not the case that there is a gap in the market which Lidl can fill. They will take (a share) from the others and from small stores,” he said.
Consumers can expect more than just low prices as a result of the competition, the associate professor added.
“We can look forward to smart prices when we are shopping. But we can also look forward to discount stores focusing on other things than just prices: higher quality products and animal welfare, for example,” he said.