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Lidl UK chief executive steps down after supermarket wars success

Published 09/09/2016

Lidl and fellow German discount chain Aldi have shaken up the UK grocery sector
Lidl and fellow German discount chain Aldi have shaken up the UK grocery sector

The boss of Lidl's UK business has stepped down after overseeing the German budget supermarket's rapid rise across the country.

The company said Ronny Gottschlich has been replaced by Christian Hartnagel, who will become c hief executive of Lidl Great Britain with immediate effect.

Lidl and fellow German discount chain Aldi have shaken up the UK grocery sector and sparked a bitter s upermarket price war by stealing market share from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.

Mr Gottschlich spent 16 years at Lidl, including six years as the company's Great Britain CEO.

Lidl saw sales growth of 12.2% in the 12 weeks to August 14, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel. The chain's total market share now stands at 4.5%.

The supermarket said Mr Hartnagel will now take charge of "moving the business forward and securing its ongoing market growth".

Lidl is in the midst of rolling out a bold investment strategy to more than double the number of British stores to 1,500.

In a statement, Lidl said: " The business is extremely grateful for Ronny Gottschlich's contribution throughout his six years as Lidl GB CEO, during which time he steered the business forward through a transformative period."

Mr Hartnagel was previously a board director for Lidl Austria, spearheading sales and operations.

The 34-year-old has worked in a raft of different management positions since joining the company 13 years ago, including regional director of Lidl Ireland.

Lidl Great Britain operates 630 stores and recorded revenues of £4.7 billion in the financial year to 2015.

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