Klaus Gehrig is head of the Schwarz Group and chairman of the supervisory board of Lidl and Kaufland. He seldom appears publicly, so his talk at the Retail Innovation Days at the Duale Hochschule in Heilbronn was all the more remarkable. During his speech in the event, he mentioned, among other things, the failure of Lidl in online food trade and warns the industry in front of the e-commerce giant Amazon and especially Alibaba.
The two big players in online trade would massively push down labour costs, thereby attacking the market. “Amazon is flattening everything if we allow it,” warns Gehrig, who was named “Manager of the Year” in 2016. He sees the policy as a responsibility, especially in the area of wages. The politicians would underestimate the whole topic. Lidl itself wants to raise the starting salary to 2,000 euros and pay its employees an increased minimum wage. Certain conditions in the retail trade should apply to everyone – including Amazon and Alibaba. Gehrig considers Alibaba even more dangerous than Amazon.
The only one sure thing that It is high time Lidl worked more on their use of Technology to enhance their service better than appointing fingers here and there without any results.