Turnover and margins are firmly under pressure at Lidl. In the past financial year, the hard discounter in Belgium went as much as 51.2 million euros in the red.
Lidl’s turnover in Belgium fell by 2.2% to 2.59 billion in the past broken financial year, reports De Standaard. Rising costs caused an operating loss of 47.1 million euros, up from 7 million a year earlier. The chain has been struggling with profitability problems for some time, but these are the worst ever figures for the retailer, the newspaper knows. Per 100 euros of sales, the discounter lost 1.94 euros net. Per hour worked, turnover fell 6%.
Lidl did not yet respond to our request for clarification on the figures. In any case, the discounter is not the only food retailer under pressure. Colruyt also sees margins shrinking further, while Delhaize has to make savings. Improvement is not in sight, with rising costs and the quasi-impossibility of increasing selling prices proportionally. The independent retailer sector even fears a wave of bankruptcies.
The poor figures also give the discounter little room to do anything about staffing levels in stores. Only last year, strikes broke out at the company, with employees demanding measures to ease the high workload.