German supermarket chain to open 100 new stores in Denmark

A major investment by German supermarket giant Lidl could mean better prices and products for customers in Danish stores.

German supermarket chain to open 100 new stores in Denmark
File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

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.

READ ALSO: These are Denmark's most – and least – popular supermarkets

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Record retail sales in Denmark after post-lockdown ‘ketchup effect’

Sales of shoes and clothes Denmark leapt by close to 100 percent in May in what the Danish Chamber of Commerce is describing as a post-coronavirus "ketchup effect".

Record retail sales in Denmark after post-lockdown 'ketchup effect'
Danes have been buying shoes like they're going out of fashion (which these Moshi Moshi shoes from 2008 clearly are). Photo: Jan Jørgensen/Ritzau Scanpix
According to Statistics Denmark, retail sales overall rose 9.4 percent in the month after shopping malls were reopened, hitting a new record after the largest month-on-month increase since it first started reporting retail statistics at the start of the year 2000. 
“This is of course positive and clearly shows that the Danes have had the courage to increase consumption as the reopening takes place,” said Tore Stramer, chief economist at the chamber, in a press statement
“However, it must be borne in mind that there has been a saving in consumption that has been let loose in May. So we are also seeing a ketchup effect in consumption.” 
Denmark's government shut down all shopping malls in the country in mid-March, with most high street shops also closing their doors until the restrictions were relaxed on May 11. 
The surge in sales will make up for some of the financial hit taken by Danish retailers during the lockdown, indicating that profits for the year might be less affected than feared. 
But Stramer warned that higher unemployment and a fall in Danish exports would continue to drag on Denmark's economy over the rest of the year, meaning May's bumper sales were unlikely to continue.