Lidl Dienstleistung GmbH & Co. KG is a European discount supermarket chain of German origin that operates 7,000 stores. In Germany, it is Aldi's main competitor. The full name of the company is Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG. It belongs to the holding company Schwarz, which also owns the store chains Handelshof and Kaufland. Lidl has established itself in over 17 countries.
The stores commonly carry about 800 different items, mostly under Lidl's own brand. Lidl isn't idle either, as it's expanding into Denmark, Hungary, and Slovenia. By emulating ALDI's low-cost operating methods, Lidl is challenging and even outpacing its #1 rival in some markets, notably France.
It was founded in the 1930s by a member of the Schwarz family; then called Schwarz Lebensmittel-Sortimentsgrosshandlung. In the 1970s, the first Lidl stores of today's incarnation opened by the billionaire Dieter Schwarz.