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    Lidl announces Belgian expansion plans

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The German discount chain Lidl has announced that it aims to open new supermarkets in Belgium, where it has a market share of almost 10%, and is seeking 500 more employees.

    Lidl currently has 305 stores in Belgium and plans to increase that number to 311 by the end of the year. Six supermarkets now being demolished will be rebuilt at the same site, while 11 others will each be replaced by a completely new store on another spot, generally in the same area.

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    “We still have many older supermarkets; our new ones are up to thrice as big,” Lidl Spokesperson Isabelle Colbrandt said. “The standard size is 1,330 square metres, whereas 40 to 50 stores have a surface area of less than 900 square metres.”

    Lidl succeeded in attracting more customers even though the market experienced a downturn last year. Its market share went from 8.5% in December 2018 to 9.3% at the end of 2019, which Lidl described as “significant growth in a downward market.” Sales also went up, the chain said, without releasing any figures. “We are growing at all levels,”

    The company plans to open more department stores in years to come “at a similar speed as in 2020.”

    Lidl employs about 10,000 persons in Belgium. The 500 new employees it plans to recruit will fill already vacant posts.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times