The grocery industry is a trillion-dollar market, with sales doubling in the past 20 years, so investing in supermarket companies – which aren’t going anywhere, as people always have to eat – makes great financial sense.
Growing supermarket chain Lidl has had a presence in the US since June 2017, and competition between them and Aldi has been heating up.
So you might wonder if you can buy Lidl stock and cash in on some of that competition. Here’s what you need to know.
Can You Buy Lidl Stock?
You cannot buy Lidl stock as it is a privately owned company that has been in the sole hands of the Schwarz family, via their parent company the Schwarz Gruppe, since the 1970s. Because of this, no one can buy Lidl stock and there are no plans for Lidl to go public or offer an IPO.
If you’re wondering why Lidl has stayed a private company if the company has shown any signs of going public in the future or even other similar stores you can invest in instead. See below for the answers!
Why Can’t You Buy Lidl Stock?
Before we get into why you can’t buy Lidl stock, it’s important to understand the family and store history a bit.
Dieter Schwarz’s father, Josef, partnered in the 1930s with a fruit wholesaler and used his influence there to evolve the company into a more general seller of food. He stayed on with A. Lidl, his business partner, until his death.
After Josef’s death, his son Dieter took over control of the company, becoming CEO and expanding the grocery stores’ presence beyond Germany into other parts of Europe, which has been the core strategy of the business for decades.
With this slow and methodical expansion, Lidl was able to open stores without the need for outside investors, which is one of the main reasons why Lidl is not on the stock market.
Additionally, unlike other competitors, Lidl stores are smaller in size and have fewer staff, so the company was able to invest its own profits, while still having ownership of the company.
As well as Lidl’s strategic expansion and capital allocation, it has been reported that company shares are split between two organizations, which makes it difficult for outsiders to get a clear picture of how the company is doing.
Because of these reasons, Lidl, under its parent company Schwarz Gruppe (which also runs the German superstore Kaufland) remains a private company with no public trading option.
To learn more, you can also see our related post on whether or not you can buy Aldi stock.
Will Lidl Ever Go Public?
Don’t hold your breath on this one. Although the next generation of Schwarzes haven’t made their thoughts known.
While Dieter lives, the company – and everything he has worked for his entire life – will remain in his hands, without outside interference.
What Stock Can You Invest In Instead Of Lidl?
Not being able to invest in Lidl stock is disappointing, as the parent company Schwarz Gruppe is worth billions.
However, there are some competitors in the low-price grocery industry who are publicly traded.
- Food Lion – A grocery chain operational in 10 states in the US in the mid-Atlantic and southern regions, Food Lion was purchased by the Dutch company Ahold Delhaize in the 1970s. Ahold Delhaize is worth an estimated $30 billion. The publicly-traded company can be found on US markets as ADRNY.
- Kroger – Kroger was founded in the 1800s and is now the largest supermarket company in the US. It is ranked 23rd on Fortune 500’s largest US corporations list and reported over $122 million in revenue in 2020. You can buy Kroger stock under the stock symbol KR.
- Walmart – Thanks to Walmart’s “Great Value” store brand, Walmart is competitive with the lowest grocery prices, with the advantage of also selling just about anything you could possibly need. You can find Walmart on the NYSE under the stock symbol WMT.
Though you cannot buy Lidl stock because is not a publicly traded company, and the Schwarz family has shown no signs indicating they will ever go public, the economy-priced grocery goods market still has plenty of investment opportunities.