Lidl owner Schwarz Group has unveiled plans to plough €6.5bn (£4.99bn) into revamping its store estates and improving ranges.
Schwarz, which also owns Kaufland hypermarkets, will split the investment across both of its grocery fascias as it bids to recapture some of the market share it has lost to rivals in Germany.
Lidl and its discount rival Aldi have become grocery giants across Europe, challenging the big four supermarket chains in the UK and eating into the market share of Carrefour in France, by stocking primarily own-brand goods at rock bottom prices in basic, no-frills stores.
But the discounters have seen share eroded in their domestic market, prompting both Aldi and Lidl to start offering more branded and fresh products, and to invest in store revamps.
Schwarz will invest more than €3bn (£2.3bn) into its 3,200 Lidl stores in Germany alone in a bid to make its shops more attractive to customers and improve the shopping experience.
It comes just months after Lidl launched its ‘store of the future’ format in the UK, featuring modern black-and-white perimeter signage, metal bakery stands, more upmarket display equipment and new-look checkouts.
All of Lidl’s new stores in the UK will take on the fresh format, while the discounter is in the process of refreshing existing stores to give them the modern feel as part of a £1.5bn investment into its property.
The new-look stores will cost more than £2m each to build, with the project expected to take place over the next three years.
Lidl, which is headquartered in Neckarsulm in southern Germany and plans to follow its great rival Aldi into the US market in 2018, now has more than 10,000 stores across the continent and is owned by the country’s richest man, Dieter Schwarz – son of the group’s founder Josef Schwarz.