Lidl upping investment in Spain

Lidl upping investment in Spain

Lidi is to spend EUR180m (US$247.6m) in Spain this year on new stores, improving ranges in existing outlets and opening another warehouse in the country.

The discount giant, which has over 525 stores in Spain, plans to open 20 new outlets, a spokesperson for the company's Spanish arm told just-food.

Lidl will also invest in a batch of existing stores, he said. "We will invest as well in other 50 existing stores in order to increase the sales room and add new products in the assortment," the spokesperson explained.

The retailer also plans to open its ninth warehouse, in Murcia, this autumn.

The EUR180m investment programme builds on EUR160m spent last year and EUR100m in 2012.

Lidl's expansion plans caught the eye of Kepler Cheuvreux retail analyst Inigo Egusquiza, who covers Spain-based discounter Dia.

Citing data from Kantar Worldpanel, Egusquiza said Lidl was the seventh-largest food retailer in Spain, with a market share of 2.9%. However, Egusquiza said Kantar Worldpanel's data showed Lidl was posting "the highest growth" in Spain.

"We believe that 2014 will be another tough year for the Spanish food retail industry with many different players expanding business including Dia, Lidl, Mercadona, Carrefour, ECI, Eroski among other players," Equsquiza said.

"We also believe that 2014 might be a tougher year than 2013 from a pricing perspective as Dia has already announced the intention of becoming more aggressive in pricing to try to turn around the negative LFL published in 2013."