Lidl’s Irish sales ‘significantly’ greater than €1bn
German discounter plans to open 40-50 new stores in Ireland on top of existing 147
Lidl outlet in Dublin: Lidl has released a report by DKM economic consultants that says it purchased €539 million worth of Irish food last year, including €152 million for export. It says it employs 4,000 staff directly and indirectly supports another 5,700 jobs. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Lidl’s sales in Ireland are “significantly more” than €1 billion, according to John Paul Scally, the company’s managing director. Lidl does not file accounts and has never previously detailed its revenues here.
Mr Scally declined, however, to reveal the chain’s profitability. He said the Irish operation is allowed by its parent group to “reinvest them back into the business”.
He said the group, which according to the research agency Kantar has a share of about 8.5 per cent of the Irish grocery market, breached the €1 billion sales barrier some time ago. “It was a while back,” he said.
Mr Scally also said the chain expects to open another “40 or 50” stores in Ireland in coming years. It operates about 147 stores here.
The newer design stores include wider aisles, while it is also trialling coffee machines in Gorey and a new hot food convenience offering, Lidl Go. These initiatives are expected to be rolled out across the wider group.
Mr Scally expects the group to open “about eight” Gorey-style stores this year, including at Castlerea in Roscommon, Cabra and Glenageary in Dublin, as part of a €110 million capital investment plan.
The “new concept” includes new builds and also extensions and renovations of existing stores. It expects to open new stores at a similar rate next year.
The group is developing new car parking designs for some of its stores. Mr Scally says Lidl’s research shows stores with underground car parks are less favoured by some customers.
Lidl has released a report by DKM economic consultants that says it purchased €539 million of Irish food last year, including €152 million for export. It says it employs 4,000 staff directly and indirectly supports another 5,700 jobs.
Mr Scally is also responsible for Lidl’s 36 stores in Northern Ireland, although the sales for this unit are not included in the €1 billion.
“It is a much smaller business up there. It is growing faster than here, because it is less competitive. We have a market share in Northern Ireland of about 5 per cent,” he said.