Kaufland [ˈkaʊ̯flant] is a German hypermarket chain, part of the Schwarz Gruppe which also owns Lidl. The hypermarket directly translates to English as 'buy-land'. It opened its first store in 1984 in Neckarsulm and quickly expanded to become a leader in what was formerly East Germany. The chain operates over 1,200 stores in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Moldova.[2]

Founded1984; 37 years ago (1984)
HeadquartersNeckarsulm, Germany
Area served
Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova
Key people
Лаипанов Расул Хамитбиевич CEO
ProductsDiscount hypermarkets
Revenue21,000,000,000 Euro (2019)[1]
354,000,000 euro Edit this on Wikidata
Total assets8,614,000,000 euro (2017) Edit this on Wikidata
ParentSchwarz Gruppe


Kaufland logo until November 2016

The history of Kaufland began when Joseph Schwarz entered the Südfrüchte Großhandlung Lidl & Co. at Heilbronn as a shareholder in 1930, which was then renamed Lidl & Schwarz KG.[3] In subsequent years it was the company aimed to expand its range and become a food wholesaler.

After the Second World War, the company was rebuilt: in 1954 it entered the A & O-chain. With Handels- und Fruchthof Heilbronn GmbH the first regional warehouse was opened in northern Wurttemberg. In 1964, the company expanded its range of products by opening a meat department. In 1968 the first Handelshof discount store was opened in Backnang, and in 1977 at the same place a hypermarket of the same name was established. After the death of Joseph Schwarz in 1977 his son Dieter Schwarz took over the management of the company.

In 1984 the first Kaufland hypermarket was opened in Neckarsulm, the place of the company's headquarters since 1972.

After the reunification of Germany the Kaufland chain expanded into the Eastern German states and opened numerous markets. The first East German Kaufland store was opened in Meissen in 1990, the first Kaufmarkt SB Warenhaus opened in 1994 in Zwickau. In 1998, the first department store outside of Germany was established in Ostrava, Czech Republic. In the 2000s, the company established branches in Slovakia (since 2000), Croatia (2001), Poland (2001), Romania (2005), Bulgaria (2006), Serbia (2017) and Moldova (2018).

In 2006 and 2007, other store openings followed in Germany and Kaufland also took over shares of competitors. In February 2009 the corporation claimed to have 73,000 employees in Germany.[4]

In December 2009, Kaufland announced the building of a new meat processing plant in Heiligenstadt, Thuringia for a total of €85 million until 2013. About 400 local employees were to deliver 45,000 tons of meat per year to around 600 stores of the corporation.[citation needed]

In January 2010, it was announced that Karl Lupus GmbH & Co. KG was cleared by antitrust authorities to sell their 12 stores of the famila Handels-Betriebe GmbH & Co. KG Rhein-Neckar and the Cash-&-Carry-Markt Lupus Food Service with 1,400 employees to Kaufland.[5]

In January 2010, the Kaufland group had purchased all five Schleckerland drug stores in Ehingen, Geislingen, Tempe, Neu-Ulm, Schwäbisch Gmünd and all but the Neu-Ulm store had been converted to the Kaufland brand by then. The local Schleckerland was closed down because Kaufland was already present in Neu-Ulm.[6]

From 2011 onward, all Handelshof stores were to be gradually be converted to the Kaufland brand and to be partly rebuilt and enlarged.

In November 2016, Kaufland's parent company applied for Kaufland trademarks in Australia.[7] In September 2019, Kaufland announced plans to open 20 stores in Australia.[8] In January 2020, Kaufland announced it would leave Australia, two years after buying its first store and six months after starting work on its distribution centre. It had invested about 310 million euro and hired over 200 staff members but never opened a store.[9] The first stores were originally expected to open in 2019 but the launch date had been pushed back to 2021.[10]

On 26 September 2019, the first two Moldovan stores were opened in the capital city of Chișinău.[11] Construction of the fourth Moldovan store have started on 23 July 2020, in the southern city of Comrat.[12] The beginning of construction at the fifth Moldovan store in the city of Ungheni was announced on 6 October 2020.[13]


European countries in which Kaufland is active
Country Number of stores
Germany 667
Poland 214
Romania 141
Czech Republic 133
Slovakia 70
Bulgaria 60
Croatia 40
Moldova 5



  1. ^ https://retailanalysis.igd.com/news/news-article/t/lidl-and-kaufland-2017-financial-results/i/18894
  2. ^ "Kaufland neu in der Republik Moldau in der Hauptstadt Chisinau gehen die ersten beiden Filialen ans Netz". Presseportal.de (in German). 26 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Über Josef Schwarz". Josef Schwarz Schule. n.d. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Kaufland investiert in Logistiknetz". February 2009. Archived from the original on 19 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Aus Famila wird Kaufland: Alle Mitarbeiter übernommen". Pforzheimer Zeitung (in German). 19 January 2010. Archived from the original on 11 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Schleckerland macht zu". Schwäbische Zeitung. 25 November 2009.
  7. ^ Carey, Alexis (24 January 2020). "Why German supermarket pulled the pin on Australia". NewsComAu. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Kaufland announces plans to open at least 20 stores in Australia". NewsComAu. 2 September 2019.
  9. ^ Powell, Johnson (22 January 2020). "'Gobsmacked': German retail giant Kaufland abandons Australia, adding to retail woes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  10. ^ Mitchell, Sue (22 January 2020). "'No warning' as Kaufland pulls plug on Australia". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Kaufland eröffnet in der Republik Moldau erste Filialen". Stimme.de (in German). 26 September 2019.
  12. ^ Sergiu Railean: „Mă bucură faptul că tot mai mulți investitori străini decid să-și lanseze afaceri în țara noastră"
  13. ^ Lucrările de construcție a magazinului Kaufland din Municipiul Ungheni sunt în plină desfășurare Kaufland.md

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