Denmark’s Lidl supermarkets to end all tobacco sales by 2029

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark’s Lidl supermarkets to end all tobacco sales by 2029
Lidl is to remove all tobacco products from its stores in Denmark by 2029. File photo: Thomas Lekfeldt/Ritzau Scanpix

Consumers will no longer be able to buy tobacco products of any kind in Lidl supermarkets in Denmark by the end of 2028, the company announced on Tuesday.


The process to remove tobacco from Lidl stores will begin this year with 20 percent of cigarettes to be taken down from shelves, the company told news wire Ritzau.

A completely tobacco-free store will also open in North Jutland town Hjørring.

“This has to be done in the right way and that’s why we’ve chosen to phase [tobacco products] out over a five-year period,” vice director of purchasing for Lidl in Denmark, Khalil Jehya Taleb, said.

“We hope customers will react positively and will choose Lidl because of our other food products,” he said.


He did not give an estimate on potential losses the company could incur from no longer selling tobacco.

“There’s no doubt we will lose turnover. But it means more that we support [charity] the Danish Cancer Society’s [Kræftens Bekæmpelse] agenda for a smoke-free generation,” he said.

“If our colleagues in the [supermarket] sector are interested in a faster phasing out, we’ll also look at that,” he said.

Denmark’s two largest supermarket companies, Coop and Salling Group, both said on Tuesday they have no immediate plans to follow Lidl’s example.

Coop, which owns the Kvickly, SuperBrugsen og 365discount stores, said it would not display the products and ask for ID from customers wishing to buy them.

“But we won’t prevent adults from buying the products they need. And certainly not in the many places where we’re the only store,” the company told Ritzau in a comment.

Salling’s director for corporate social responsibility, Henrik Vinther Olsen, said that the company was open to a “dialogue” about how to reduce smoking.

“But tobacco is a legal product which many people want and can legally purchase,” he said.

Salling, which owns Netto, Bilka and Føtex, removed cigarettes from display five years ago, he also noted.

The decision by Lidl was praised by the Danish Cancer Society, which said it could inspire other ways of reducing the number of people who smoke.

“This is a big step and could lead one day to a complete stop on sales of tobacco and nicotine,” project leader for tobacco reduction with the Danish Cancer Society, Niels Them Kjær, said.

“It won’t have a serious effect until it spreads to more chains,” he said.

Lidl plans to open an additional 60 stores in Denmark in the coming years. Each of these will be tobacco free.


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