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  #801  
Old 27.06.2012, 16:46
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

Yeah, I have to agree!

I know that everything is very expensive here, but everyone still can save more money than anywhere else, so... worth it!

Cheers,
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  #802  
Old 27.06.2012, 16:49
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Yeah, I have to agree!

I know that everything is very expensive here, but everyone still can save more money than anywhere else, so... worth it!

Cheers,
Hey, this is the complaints corner, please try to stay focused!
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  #803  
Old 27.06.2012, 17:15
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Hey, this is the complaints corner, please try to stay focused!
Actually, it's not -- this is in Daily Life -- but it should be in Complaints Corner.

So it is, now.
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  #804  
Old 27.06.2012, 17:58
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Actually, it's not -- this is in Daily Life -- but it should be in Complaints Corner.
Is there a difference?
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  #805  
Old 27.06.2012, 22:49
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Eventually we get to the key point.

The key & important & only factor is the import price.

All the other stuff about salaries, rentals, market size etc. is bullsh*t

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It is a much heard argument in the industry: The prices are in Switzerland and therefore so high because our wages are higher than abroad. Sounds logical, but wrong. The labor costs are at least in the retail sector lower than abroad.
Link to article in DE


Ironically, a study that was commissioned by Migros, Coop, Denner, Valora, Manor and Charles Voegele, provides the proof: It is true that the employees earn in the Swiss retail trade more than in Germany, France, Austria or Italy, But the so-called non-wage labor costs (such as AVS or accident insurance contributions) in Switzerland are relatively low. In addition, the Swiss are more productive employees: They make more per hour and they are less often absent because of illness. If all these factors into account, the author of the study concluded (page 40):

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"To the extent that labor costs in addition to the nominal cost of the work performed is considered, therefore, a comparison of unit labor costs is made, the Swiss retail market a cost advantage of 5 percent "

Sofern bei den Arbeitskosten neben den nominalen Kosten auch die erbrachte Leistung berücksichtigt wird, also ein Vergleich der Lohnstückkosten vorgenommen wird, hat der Schweizer Detailhandel einen Kostenvorteil von 5 Prozent
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Old 27.06.2012, 23:34
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Eventually we get to the key point.

The key & important & only factor is the import price.

All the other stuff about salaries, rentals, market size etc. is bullsh*t
A) YES YES YES, the key is whether you as an importer find ways to obtain your stuff at good prices. If necessary you even buy German stuff in the USA and even save money ! And if a supplier in an E.U. country tells you that this and this is the Switzerland price (you know .... all the forms ... and export out of EU ... and higher postage) you have to say that it first of all is absolute bullshit and if they insisted on their high German prices (YES, they ARE high, if shopping commercially ! ), you had to check up suppliers in the U.K. and in the USA for similar goods
B) the high real estate prices ARE a problem. You in Switzerland do not have major premises far out in the countryside as not really practical in regard to transport and facilities but usually in "suburbia" , while most industries long ago have left the innercities
C) Market size ? Yes, the small markets (three of them) discourage some international companies like Walmart (there was an interview with one of their chiefs in the TagesAnzeiger, when Walmart was not interested in taking over EPA) . Imagine that companies active "union-wide" have to deal with Cantonal regulations, and Cantonal governments, and Cantonal parliaments. To give a practical example. For many years companies could sell certain medical products openly in supermarkets on Aargau territory but NOT on Zürich territory. Shrewd people along the AG/ZH border have their shops on AG-territory and their offices (HQs) on ZH-teritory. Now imagine you are a "scout" of a big international company and are checking all that up ! You can guess what I would say about such a country !
D) Salaries ? the salaries here are NOT higher here than in Germany (please do not compare Zürich and Waldshut or Basel and Weil-am-Rhein or Geneva with Bellegard but Zürich and Stuttgart/München, Basel and Stuttgart/Freiburg-im-Breisgau and Geneva and Lyon) as soon as you include all the far higher social costs companies have to pay in Germany.

Add to this that many Swiss have a deep distrust against "foreignish products" quite in general. Even if I when reading "Schweizer Eier" cannot help but to smile
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  #807  
Old 27.06.2012, 23:54
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Well, the point is not that prices are significantly cheaper in Lugano (they aren't), but rather that if I can buy beef tenderloin for CHF 42 / kg in Lugano (and I can), I would expect you to be able to find it for a similar price elsewhere in Switzerland, though perhaps not at Migros/Coop/Manor.

Tom
I often go to Turkish and Arab and Iranian and Indian shops. Who have astonishingly low prices. Admitted, I fit in with their other customers, and so often am the only German speaking shopper. And those shops have such delicious stuff in their shelves.
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Old 28.06.2012, 03:06
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Actually I find wine prices are quite reasonable here; especially imported wines.

Also big stores like Co-op & Denner often have good price offers.
For example @ Co-op " 20% off our entire range of white and rosé wines - this week only!"
Yes, this week!
I found booze in general to be quite reasonable priced when I was in Switzerland as well - at least so long as you were buying it in places like Coop and not bars or restaurants (with the exception of beer).

Though with that said alcohol in Australia is quite expensive due to sin taxes.
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Old 28.06.2012, 15:38
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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when Walmart was not interested in taking over EPA) .
Remember that Walmart took over the German chain Wertkauf some years back. When they took it over it was a moderately succesful chain with some problems (normally when somebody sells something it's because there is a problem, right?). After a few years of Walmart managment, it was a complete disaster and they ended up having to close down the business competely and flog the assets and real estate to their German competitors to pay off their debts. In other words, the Walmart mentality doesn't really work under European conditions, and Walmart managment isn't suficiently flexible to adapt to Europe. Maybe that's why they backed off EPA. They knew they couldn't make it work.

Woolworth is another example of a US company that lost the German market because it was out-smarted by the local competition.

On the other hand, Aldi is doing quite well in the USA. So maybe German retail companies are better at adapting and making the jump than US ones?
That would also explain why Aldi and Lidl are doing fairly well in Switzerland whereas Walmart didn't even get a foot in the door.
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Old 28.06.2012, 15:40
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Add to this that many Swiss have a deep distrust against "foreignish products" quite in general. Even if I when reading "Schweizer Eier" cannot help but to smile
as in ... roll on Ogi?
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  #811  
Old 28.06.2012, 22:26
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Remember that Walmart took over the German chain Wertkauf some years back. When they took it over it was a moderately succesful chain with some problems (normally when somebody sells something it's because there is a problem, right?). After a few years of Walmart managment, it was a complete disaster and they ended up having to close down the business competely and flog the assets and real estate to their German competitors to pay off their debts. In other words, the Walmart mentality doesn't really work under European conditions, and Walmart managment isn't suficiently flexible to adapt to Europe. Maybe that's why they backed off EPA. They knew they couldn't make it work.

Woolworth is another example of a US company that lost the German market because it was out-smarted by the local competition.

On the other hand, Aldi is doing quite well in the USA. So maybe German retail companies are better at adapting and making the jump than US ones?
That would also explain why Aldi and Lidl are doing fairly well in Switzerland whereas Walmart didn't even get a foot in the door.
Aldi and Lidl have deeply impressed me in the past few years, with their straight but careful strategic way ahead. To include Swiss products they can get at acceptable prices but bringing in interesting products from neighbouring countries (not only Germany ! ) . By establishing outlets in suburbia, but in good and affordable places. By very carefully adapt their style to local style.

Both avoided the deadly mistake of Carrefour or KFC to ally with either an old-fashioned Swiss company or as KFC with crooks !

I hope they will continue to succeed. Two other foreign companies which are quite well enroute are CONFORAMA and MEDIA-MARKT and I also in their case hope for the best

A US company which is very successful in Switzerland is Starbucks. A company which in its range has both "teenager-drinks" AND serious good coffee. They try to cater for TWO markets, different markets in a way, but of course hope to see their teenager-customers converting into "real-coffee-customers" over the years.

Some companies like McDonalds have shown their abilities not just to enter those small and rather complicated Swiss markets, but to succeed over here.
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Old 28.06.2012, 23:29
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Both avoided the deadly mistake of Carrefour or KFC to ally with either an old-fashioned Swiss company or as KFC with crooks !
Did Carrefour lose money in Switzerland?

When they left the Swiss market it was communicated that it was not due to losses but due to a change of strategy. Carrefour wanted to focus on countries where they were among the top three (IIRC) in the market or saw a chance to reach that goal in the foreseeable future.
E.g. Carrefour pulled out of Portugal for the same reason at about the same time.

So, unless you have some inside information about losses, Carrefour did not fail but withdrew from Switzerland voluntarily.
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Old 29.06.2012, 01:08
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Did Carrefour lose money in Switzerland?

When they left the Swiss market it was communicated that it was not due to losses but due to a change of strategy. Carrefour wanted to focus on countries where they were among the top three (IIRC) in the market or saw a chance to reach that goal in the foreseeable future.
E.g. Carrefour pulled out of Portugal for the same reason at about the same time.

So, unless you have some inside information about losses, Carrefour did not fail but withdrew from Switzerland voluntarily.
I do not know whether they DID lose money or not, BUT they did never succeed to win the marketplace. No, in spite of all their corporate rethorics it was a clear failure. True, MANOR is a fine department store, but to ally with Maus-Nordmann for a retail business was a mistake. Just look at the network of Carrefour shops. It was not sufficient to play a decent role and to sustain. I don't know what went wrong with Carrefour in Portugal. Simply, to say it again, compare Carrefour CH to Lidl-CH and Aldi-CH ! When Carrefour RE-emerged in Switzerland, after a previous failure, I hoped that they within a few years would expand their network of outlets and become a market-force, but they did NOT.

Success and failure are NOT necessarily linked with minor losses or minor insufficient profits but with longterm market strategies.

People on here repeatedly asked about too high prices in Switzerland, about a lack of innovation in the retail business etc. Yes, here you have an answer ! It is not all the "reasonable" arguments we exchanged, it is that in Switzerland, many people now only look at the short-term profit-loss aspect but NOT at a long-term perspective. What made Migros out of a small opposition force into one of the two leading retailers was that Gottlieb Duttweiler was looking at the long-term things, planned his steps long-term and was ready to take losses on particular fronts.

Let's now look at the differences between the strategies of Aldi and Lidl. Aldi first jumped accross the border in Eastern Switzerland into areas where people knew Aldi-D quite well, and then slowly moved west-southwest. Lidl started with a "bang" simultaneously all over the country. According to press-reports they did accept losses in their first years but their aggressive way meant that they covered all the markets at the same time. In their first three years here the media speculated that they either would simply get out of Switzerland or sell out Lidl-CH but as it looks, they are moving ahead quite nicely.

Back to the mice. Had Carrefour allied with a company in the Alsace (inside France but BIlingual in reality) and moved out of the Alsace via Basel into Switzerland (there is no reason why to enter CH via Zürich and Geneva suburbia) and gradually but seriously establishing a decent network, they might have had a chance

Look at THIS
http://shop.mediamarkt.ch/de/maerkte/idtmbwk4ouhx
and MediaMarkt is NOT a grocery-chain even. But Carrefour never had a comparable number of outlets, just 12 to be precise
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrefour_Schweiz
which means a ridiculously small number.

At the other hand, the decision of the Mice to concentrate on the MANOR department stores and the Jumbo Baumärkte makes sense. I do not think that they in their involvement in Carrefour CH made financial losses, but if they did have hopes for success they had to see that it was a hopeless case.

THIS
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrefo...Unternehmen%29
compilation shows you why I regard the dropping out of Carrefour as a loss for Switzerland, NOT on the prices-front, but in regard to alternative shopping places. It however also shows that this gigantic group already is too large to tackle small markets in a serious way. Walmart DOES survive NOT to have entered Switzerland and Carrefour will easily survive having left Switzerland. Even if there was a bit of a loss, it does NOT really have a serious affect on the company, not at all. BUT that the former Carrefour outlets now either are COOPS or closed makes it clear that there exit had an adverse effect on competition and prices in Switzerland. This more or less is what LiB tried to explain over the past few years on here, but possibly in vain.
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Old 05.08.2012, 03:44
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Not been following this thread, but a number of the recent posts seem to be comparing CH prices to those in the US. A ridiculous comparison, for several reasons. Comparing Switzerland with neighbouring European nations makes more sense, although one must be wary of the current exchange rate distorting things somewhat. On that basis I'd say that it's only in a few specific areas that Switzerland is significantly more expensive that France (which is my basis for comparison, based on first-hand experience only). Beef, yes, cheese, well a little bit cheaper, milk, not any more, lamb, again not so much, pork, not at all...

As for the US, well yes, most food products there are very much cheaper than they would be in most of Europe. Meat especially so, but then again, I can buy meat here that's been raised in humane natural conditions, and has the flavour to match it. I gladly pay more for such products than the over-fatty, under-flavoured, hormone-stuffed beef that's the norm in the US.
Sorry to ruin your comparison, but most of the meat in the US that isn't sausage (most of which sucks, read about "gluten free sausage") or other ground meat, is extremely lean. Steaks (beef and pork) with no marbling just suck. Yeah, meat in the CH is more expensive but at least at Coop, I could come up with good quality meat on sale every few weeks. Yeah, I had a very good under counter freezer. Plus, I could have duck, rabbit, Ostrich, etc and that doesn't even happen over here.

BTW, just so you know, I grew up eating meat that was raised on our family farms. Even had to help butcher it on occasion.

Sure alot of our meat is cheap but it isn't always tasty. That doesn't make sense but that is the way it is.
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Old 05.08.2012, 08:26
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Speaking of insane prices: I had to send a bulky 110 x 30cm package to Germany. Went to the Swiss post office. They wanted 65 fr. for "b-post" and almost 80 for "a-post". Then they got seriously pi***d when I told them their pricing is insane. In the end, they told me: wenn Sie wänd Räppli schpalte, müend sie's halt uuf Düütschland go uufgäh (basically: if you're being a cheap bastard, you'll have to send the package from Germany). Best fraking advice ever - went to Konstanz and posted the package for 6.90 Euro. They even let you pay with EC cards in Germany.
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Old 05.08.2012, 08:48
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Speaking of insane prices: I had to send a bulky 110 x 30cm package to Germany. Went to the Swiss post office. They wanted 65 fr. for "b-post" and almost 80 for "a-post". Then they got seriously pi***d when I told them their pricing is insane. In the end, they told me: wenn Sie wänd Räppli schpalte, müend sie's halt uuf Düütschland go uufgäh (basically: if you're being a cheap bastard, you'll have to send the package from Germany). Best fraking advice ever - went to Konstanz and posted the package for 6.90 Euro. They even let you pay with EC cards in Germany.
That's what the kids would call an epic win... I've made similar experiences with the Swiss post, at least when it comes to sending packages. Once I had to send back an incomplete product from Amazon.de and paid more for the shipping than I did for the product. Luckily Amazon sent me a refund but I bet they weren't overly enthusiastic when they say how much they owed me.
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Old 05.08.2012, 15:27
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Add to this that many Swiss have a deep distrust against "foreignish products" quite in general. Even if I when reading "Schweizer Eier" cannot help but to smile

I think I've won the 'spot the most laughable Swiss Quality claim' with my discovery of a newly installed ice cube cabinet at the petrol station near us with "Schweizer Qualität Eis!" written on it.

So, none of that dodgy EU stuff. Sleep sound in the knowledge that your drinks are being cooled with Swiss frozen water.


Guess they have to justify the 12 franc a pop robbery somehow though
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Old 06.08.2012, 10:59
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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A US company which is very successful in Switzerland is Starbucks. A company which in its range has both "teenager-drinks" AND serious good coffee. They try to cater for TWO markets, different markets in a way, but of course hope to see their teenager-customers converting into "real-coffee-customers" over the years.
Serious good coffee?! You're joking right?
Anyway the success is due only to the fact that they don't know how a real espresso should taste like and how much it should cost (about 1/4)
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Old 06.08.2012, 11:03
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Serious good coffee?! You're joking right?
Anyway the success is due only to the fact that they don't know how a real espresso should taste like and how much it should cost (about 1/4)
Which is perfect, because no one (in their right mind) buys an espresso in Starbucks. Their shots are designed to be thrown into a huge bucket of frothy milk. And in there, it tastes fine.
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Old 06.08.2012, 11:21
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Re: Absurd Swiss prices

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Serious good coffee?! You're joking right?
Well, compared to what passes for coffee up north, he's got a point!

Hell, it's hard to get good coffee even in Ticino!

Got to go to Italy for seriously good coffee.

Tom
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