Dieter Schwarz: The Billionaire Behind Lidl and Kaufland

Dieter Schwarz 1


Dieter Schwarz is a German businessman and entrepreneur, famously known as the founder of Schwarz Group, which is the parent company of German discount supermarket chain Lidl and grocery store chain Kaufland. Schwarz Group is currently one of the largest retail companies in the world, with a presence in several countries across the globe. Schwarz, with a net worth of over $25 billion, is currently one of the richest people in Germany and the world.

Early Life and Education

Born on September 24, 1939, in Heilbronn, Germany, Dieter Schwarz is the son of Lidl founder Josef Schwarz. He took over his father’s company at the age of 23, after completing his education in Heilbronn and Munich. Schwarz’s father started the company in the 1930s as a food wholesaler in south-western Germany.

Career and Achievements

After completing his education, Schwarz took over as the CEO of the family business in 1977. He expanded the company’s supermarket chain, Lidl, across Europe, and later into the United States, with the first American store opening in Virginia in 2017. Schwarz’s empire grew when he acquired the retail chain Kaufland in 1998, which is now one of the largest grocery stores in Germany.

The Schwarz Group has continued to grow under Schwarz’s leadership, expanding to over 30 countries, with more than 10,000 stores worldwide. The company now has over 400,000 employees, making it one of the largest employers in Europe. Schwarz, with his astute business skills, has managed to keep the company private, while steady expanding its reach.

Personal Life

Despite being one of the wealthiest people in Germany, Schwarz has kept his personal life private. He is known to avoid the press and rarely gives interviews. Schwarz is married to Franziska Schwarz, and the couple has two children. His son, Klaus Gehrig is the CEO of Schwarz Group, and is thought to have taken over from Schwarz.


Name Dieter Schwarz
Born September 24, 1939
Country Germany
Sector Retail
Companies Schwarz Group, Lidl, Kaufland
Net Worth $25.4 Billion
Forbes URL
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