Supermarket chain Lidl is building a logistics center near Kladno, in the town of Buštěhrad, some 20 kilometers northwest of Prague. The warehouse, on the site of a former steel plant, should open in 2021.
It will be one of Europe’s largest, employing up to 500 people. The Germany-based brand also plans to open 15 new stores in the Czech Republic this year. The total investment in the warehouse and stores will exceed CZK 3 billion, according to Lidl ČR director Pavel Stratil. “Our fifth logistics center will have the capacity to supply up to 90 outlets,” he said.
The new warehouse will have almost 60,000 square meters of storage space with one-third temperature controlled for fresh or frozen goods. Some 95 trucks can be parked at once.
A new road will be built at Lidl’s expense to keep the trucks from going directly through the Buštěhrad area. Trucks will turn to the warehouse from the I/61 roadway, where a new road and a roundabout will be built at a place called U Kovošrotu. Other companies in the same industrial zone will also use the roadway.
“Approval of the warehouse depends on approval of the roadway,” Buštěhrad Mayor Daniela Javorčeková said at a press conference when the warehouse construction started.
Lidl opened its first stores in the Czech Republic in 2003, now has 245 locations. The retailer this year has already opened four stores in Prague, and more are planned for Prague, Pardubice, Brno, České Budějovice and Kolín. Nine Czech stores this year will be modernized.
A consumer survey released in May by Nielsen showed that Lidl was the most popular supermarket chain in the Czech Republic, a shift in attitude from when it launched locally and was seen as having inferior goods. Lidl overtook Kaufland, which was most popular between 2012 and ’17.
Lidl in 2018 had the second-highest revenues for a Czech supermarket chain, at CZK 52.3 billion, trailing Kaufland’s CZK 57.6 billion.
Both Lidl and Kaufland are owned by the German retail group Schwarz. Lidl was founded in 1930 as a food wholesaler and shifted into discount markets and supermarkets in the 1970s. It now has 10,000 outlets in Europe and the US, employing 315,000 people. Schwarz Group is the fifth-largest retailer in the world.