Net Worth

Dieter Schwarz: The wealth of the richest German

How rich is Dieter Schwarz?

There is no single person in Germany who is more wealthy than Dieter Schwarz. He is the richest German among the richest Germans. His fortune is worth billions. Incidentally, if Dieter Schwarz were to cease his business from now on, it would look significantly different on Germany’s plates. After all, the Lidl and Kaufland empires belong to this man. Although there is great public interest in his person, there are no film recordings of the entrepreneur. The cherished Dieter Schwarz’s assets are 41.5 billion euros.

The Schwarz Group with Kaufland and Lidl

Dieter Schwarz's income
If you search the internet for pictures of yourself, you will only find very few photos that are also older. The entrepreneur also rejects interviews as a matter of principle. That he is so shy of the public has certainly gives the clever businessman more privacy. Incidentally, his billion dollar fortune grew only partially on the dung of Dieter Schwarz. The foundation stone for the Lidl grocery chain was finally laid by Josef Schwarz, Dieter’s father, who initially appeared as a merchant in the Heilbronn-Franconian region.

Son Dieter graduated from high school and then completed a commercial apprenticeship from 1958 to 1960. Of course Dieter was an apprentice at Lidl & Schwarz KGwhose location was in his hometown of Heilbronn. At that time, Dieter’s father had full control of this company as the sole shareholder. As early as 1962, the son was also able to become a partner. The first Handelshof supermarket opened its doors in 1968. This laid the foundation for the later Kaufland empire. Because since 1984 all the former Handelshof supermarkets have been called “Kaufland”. The first branch was also opened in Backnang. By 1972 the company had grown so much that the huge corporate headquarters opened in Neckarsulm.

The path to becoming a multi-billionaire

Dieter Schwarz's fortune
The discount group Lidl started in 1973. Dieter Schwarz first had to secure the naming rights to “Lidl”. After all, the former Lidl group, with which the father had initially started, was not up to the task. Rather, he had only joined an existing company as a partner. Thus, Schwarz did not have the right to simply use the name for its discount supermarkets. Of course, the clever businessman knew what to do in this situation. He paid Ludwig Lidl, the now retired painter and vocational school teacher, just once 1,000 German marks for the naming rights to Lidl.

This was crucial because Dieter Schwarz absolutely wanted to avoid the unattractive play on words “black market” for his supermarkets. When Dieter’s father died in 1977, the son finally took the scepter in hand. At that time there were already 30 branches that belonged to the supermarket chain. Until 1978, Schwarz put a number of different types of supermarket to the test until he found the right discount store concept for his company. This concept was designed as follows:

  • Lidl: discount stores in small areas
  • Kaufland: full range on large areas

Dieter Schwarz is the richest German

Dieter Schwarz caused a sensation not only in the German supermarket industry. As early as 1988, the entrepreneur started expanding internationally and opened the first branch in France. In 1992 it made the leap to Italy, with Great Britain following just four years later. In the meantime they are Lidl supermarkets are represented in most of Europe and even in the USA. In the meantime, Dieter Schwarz has withdrawn from the company’s management.

Image sources:
Lidl: p.lange /
Kaufland: Mino /

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