Our history

Our history

Our story - home and abroad

Lidl burst onto the Northern Irish grocery market scene in the year 1999. Since then, we have established ourselves as a well-known, reputable retailer who is supporting communities all over Ireland. Our team of over 800 help us operate over 38 stores and three logistics centres. 

Since starting as a food wholesale company in Germany in the 1930s, our goal was to offer quality and freshness at the lowest possible price. 

We are proud to be a discounter. Shopping at Lidl is simple and uncomplicated due to our standardized store system. Alongside relationships built with our team and suppliers based on mututal respect, we've experienced strong growth throughout Europe and more recently in the US, by remaining true to our core business model.

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Distribution centres in Ireland

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Employees in Northern Ireland

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Stores in Ireland

We work with over 50 Northen Irish suppliers and are proud to have helped many suppliers grow their business through their relationship with Lidl and we indirectly support an additional 5,700 jobs in Ireland*. 

Lidl’s story begun in the city of Neckarsulm in the German state of Baden-Württemberg in the 1930s. Lidl is characterised by ambition and the desire to explore new markets saw our company grow outside of Germany in the 1980's. Today we are represented in 30 countries and operate approx. 10,500 stores. 

*Economic Report prepared by DKM Consultants for Lidl Ireland

  • Lidl continues to lead the way with CSR, announcing ambitious targets for reductions in salt & sugar, responsible sourcing of fish and recycling stations for consumers in all stores.
  • Lidl takes the plunge and opens its first store outside of Europe, in the United States.
  • Lidl announces it will become the first major food retailer in Northern Ireland to commit to paying the anticipated new Living Wage of £8.20 per hour (plus supplements) to staff.
  • Lidl becomes the first discounter to make a fair trade own brand 'Fairglobe' permanently listed.
  • Another milestone as Lidl hits its 30th location with Antrim opening its doors in October of that year.
  • Lidl reaches a major milestone with a workforce of 80,000 internationally.
  • Lidl reaches 20 stores in Northern Ireland when the Dungannon store opens in County Tyrone.
  • 1999 marks the start of Lidl’s success story in Northern Ireland with 4 stores opening. 
  • Lidl expands outside of Germany with the first store opening in France.
  • 15 years after opening its first store, Lidl counts more than 450 stores in Germany and over 5,000 employees.
  • The first Lidl store opens in Ludwigshafen-Mundenheim in Germany.
  • Lidl & Schwarz KG is founded as a food wholesale company in Neckarsulm, Germany. Still today, our international headquarters is located in Neckarsulm.