Julia Kern is in her early 30s and is already one of the great hopes of the German manager scene. Within the Schwarz Group, the largest retail group in Europe, it has been working its way upwards since January 2013.
Starting with a position as Lidl sales manager in Baden-Württemberg, she was promoted to sales management at Lidl Italy just two years later – in August 2015. Although she only held this position for six months, she remained loyal to the Schwarz Group and worked directly for the Group in the following two years. Then she moved to Lidl sister Kaufland in November 2016, where she was managing director of the Northern Region for a good one and a half years.
A setback in Australia
This was followed by her digression to the other end of the world, including a new job title: Managing Director Kaufland Australia. Since May 2018, at the behest of the group owner Dieter Schwarz (the richest person in Germany), she has tried to build the necessary networks and infrastructure to establish the brand.
Schwarz promised her 300 million euros for the expansion. A headquarters in Melbourne, a transshipment warehouse in the neighborhood and 20 branches were planned, as the “Handelsblatt” reported. Kern worked for this expansion for almost two years and was then called back by Kaufland boss Frank Schumann – the company wanted to concentrate its investments on Europe. “In Europe we see great growth potential for us. We will actively help shape the consolidation of the European retail trade and thus further strengthen our leading position, ”the Handelsblatt quoted the company boss.
Fresh start in Germany
Kern’s LinkedIn profile still identifies her as “Managing Director at Kaufland Australia”. That should change at the latest, however, because as the “Lebensmittelzeitung” reports today, the young top manager is returning to Lidl, where she is taking on the post of Deputy Head of State, alongside Matthias Oppitz.