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Old 02.09.2011, 16:27
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

Complete patronising garbage. Your implication is that I am at fault because I can get the things I need in the current stupid regimen of opening hours ?

In terms of the current swiss status, "Protectionism and self serving cartels". Heard that before ? Times they are a changing and Switzerland is being dragged kicking and screaming through the second half of the 20th century and ultimately into the 21st.

AYB

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Why waste time shopping when there are soooo many things to be done in this lovely country. Anyone who can't get the stuff he or she needs during the present opening hours is obviously glued to the chair, office, TV, bar, or whatever. The simple way is to lift one's arse.

That's why we always say 'no' to longer opening hours.

This 'Customer is King' philosophy isn't something I've ever seen in the UK or in North America either. It's odd, therefore, that the Swiss, who don't open their shops for every last halfpenny or anoint their walls with slogans have such a solid economy and such a strong retail home market.

But admittedly, there's not much hope for the future. At one time the Zürich Bahnhofstrasse was a street of quality. Now the lower half is worse than Oxford Street. Just junk.
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  #42  
Old 02.09.2011, 16:41
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

Most people seem to be happy about the present opening hours - not wanting to be 'dragged into the 21st century...' and its economic, mass-produced mess.

And, yes, I think you are at fault if you can't plan to buy what you need in a week of 50 opening hours.

As I said there's not much hope for the future - if the future of mankind is 'shopping'.
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  #43  
Old 02.09.2011, 16:46
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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Now we are starting to cook.

If the hours are constrained at the place of business, then operating from an industrial zone makes sense even the customers are remote.

So what does this mean:

a) transport must be capable of transporting stock and the cost and time involved must mean the product must be of sufficient value and nonperishable to enable timely delivery.

b) Can deliveries be made on Sunday, for an order placed on a weekday ?

c) Conversely can goods be pitched and demonstrated on a Sunday. Can members of a subscription club receive free samples at events on Sundays ?

d) What is delivery ? If I give my loyal customers access to a secure 24/7 automat access to collect their product (dry cleaning / birthday cake/ case of wine) , is that trading ? Is it delivery ?

Start thinking like this and your business model can emerge from the swiss straight-jacket...

AYB
a) have you seen the price of laundry?! You probably could but may not need to charge a premium for off hours delivery. Actually, in many places (houses vs apts) you could deliver during regular hours.

b) good question. I can't see why not. But we'd have to look into it. I bet I couldn't be done by van/truck. But must be car or scooter.

c) I'm not giving free samples of laundry!

d) If you work out of an industrial zone you can't have pick up. Maybe you could have a pick up box place, like with lockers were you give the client a code & they pick up from the locker. This might have to be in a different zone to the industrial zone. You can pick up DVDs from those vending machines, right? Something to look into.
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  #44  
Old 02.09.2011, 16:52
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

Let me get this right. I should plan for when I want to give my money to commercial service rather than expecting them to delight me ? You clearly need a reality check. How difficult is it going to compete when this is the expectation ?

So what is the future ? Developing international swiss commerce or running back to farm in the mountains ? While the protective barriers are eroded as a condition of improved trade with EU, and the banking secrecy USP is lost as the banks cave in to foreign pressure, preserving your little bubble long term is not feasible.

Clearly I'm not in position such as yourself to judge the future of mankind, but I am pretty sure that petty blinkered thinking ain't it.

AYB

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Most people seem to be happy about the present opening hours - not wanting to be 'dragged into the 21st century...' and its economic, mass-produced mess.

And, yes, I think you are at fault if you can't plan to buy what you need in a week of 50 opening hours.

As I said there's not much hope for the future - if the future of mankind is 'shopping'.
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  #45  
Old 02.09.2011, 19:13
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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Let me get this right. I should plan for when I want to give my money to commercial service rather than expecting them to delight me ? You clearly need a reality check. How difficult is it going to compete when this is the expectation ?

So what is the future ? Developing international swiss commerce or running back to farm in the mountains ? While the protective barriers are eroded as a condition of improved trade with EU, and the banking secrecy USP is lost as the banks cave in to foreign pressure, preserving your little bubble long term is not feasible.

Clearly I'm not in position such as yourself to judge the future of mankind, but I am pretty sure that petty blinkered thinking ain't it.

AYB

More and More I think you mean. (Until nothing is left; no fish in the seas, no trees in the forests, no oil in the ground, no water in the rivers, no place without noise, beer and concrete, everything sacrificed just to get your money).

Fair competition is not only a joke, it's a fallacy - in any country.

Showmanship has taken over from craftsmanship, ownership from partnership.

This won't be helped by being Open on Sundays, or by building supermarkets Open all Hours.

As you know the hours of opening are subject to the vote of the Swiss people - I'm hanging onto this thread of hope. I also hope that someone continues to farm so that we all have something decent to eat and don't have to rely on Kellogs or MacDonald's.
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  #46  
Old 02.09.2011, 20:23
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

Yes and Yes. Your disparaging view of consumers is evident. I'm sorry that reality doesn't seem to comply with your romantic view of of ye olde world of birdsong etc.

I'm glad there is compensation in that the shopping hours suit your working hours.

But maybe these "morons" work different or longer hours to you. Maybe these "morons" enjoy shopping. Maybe these "morons" have different or more enlightened view of the world. Maybe they are not morons at all, but people with different values to you ?

AYB

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Have you visited London or Singapore on a Sunday? They are both full up with morons who must buy something, who must take the spouse to buy something. In London it is because there is no congestion charge, in Singapore it's because on Sunday they all have a day off work (except the poor shop workers).

In the olden days we had one day each week when we could here bees buzzing and birdsong even in or near the city centers. Is that not something to cherish?

I am happy enough when shops are open an hour before I start work, and an hour after I stop work. As a compromise for the past 10 years we have one late shopping evening. This is fine for me: after the shops close, people go home and the city becomes quieter and more relaxed. Longer shopping hours do not bring larger turnover, just the shoppers have longer to part with their limited money.
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  #47  
Old 02.09.2011, 20:30
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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but people with different values to you ?

AYB
That's it in a nutshell. Personally I like ye olde world of birdsong but that's not the world I live in.

Having said that I don't think store hours and service have much to do with using you time better than spending the whole weekend at the malls.

Here in BA the stores are open on Sundays and late-ish every day. But Sundays are still sacred (in quotes, not church related anymore) family days where they spend every Sunday with family and friends lounging over an asado.

And of course here you can get everything delivered. I like that! Kilo of gelato at midnight? Yes please! Oh, I mean.... no thank you I'm watching my weight.... yeah right....
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  #48  
Old 02.09.2011, 20:31
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

What an earth are you talking about in your end-is-nigh diatribe ?. The issue that I am advocating is that businesses become customer focussed.

Good competition increases quality and value (Read a bit of Porter).

You're not really on topic in my opinion.

AYB


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More and More I think you mean. (Until nothing is left; no fish in the seas, no trees in the forests, no oil in the ground, no water in the rivers, no place without noise, beer and concrete, everything sacrificed just to get your money).

Fair competition is not only a joke, it's a fallacy - in any country.

Showmanship has taken over from craftsmanship, ownership from partnership.
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  #49  
Old 02.09.2011, 20:38
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

hi,
hm well as far as i know switzerland that very top post will be quiet hard to to, as there are also laws about opening hours, but i agree with the situation

good luck
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  #50  
Old 02.09.2011, 23:18
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

Personally I wouldn't give a monkey's fart to buy the successor to the latest Blue Ray player. My 19 inch computer monitor has a resolution of 1'366 x 768 addressable pixels, which makes a total of 1'049'088 pixels i.e. a little bit more than 1 Mega Pixels.

Now someone like you will come along soon and tell me that the Nikon camera I just bought on Sunday (Special offer, Migros online CHF 75,--) is rubbish as it only has 10 Mega Pixels! Yeah right, when my monitor can only display 1 Mega Pixels!

Almost all the rubbish the morons are buying is made in China. It will last about 3 years before being discarded. What is the point of having shops open extra long hours trying to capture our limited supplies of cash, to give to a country which has no intention of supporting us against nasty 3rd world leaders?

If you must sell something out of hours, please sell them some common sense!
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  #51  
Old 03.09.2011, 00:18
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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Now we are starting to cook.

If the hours are constrained at the place of business, then operating from an industrial zone makes sense even the customers are remote.


d) What is delivery ? If I give my loyal customers access to a secure 24/7 automat access to collect their product (dry cleaning / birthday cake/ case of wine) , is that trading ? Is it delivery ?

AYB
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Do I really need to respond to this?

AYB
Sorry....wasn't very specific. I meant....don't you think that if people wanted a secure 24/7 birthday cake dispenser....it would have been invented?

I mean.......maybe Steve Jobs was equally visionary......but i'm not sure that this is quite the same type of idea
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  #52  
Old 03.09.2011, 08:46
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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What an earth are you talking about in your end-is-nigh diatribe ?. The issue that I am advocating is that businesses become customer focussed.

Good competition increases quality and value (Read a bit of Porter).

You're not really on topic in my opinion.

AYB

Having worked for an american firm in CH for 26 years I am well aquainted with Porter and his ilk. Unfortunately we had a Harvard graduate imposed upon us who tried (after we had enjoyed many successful years in CH without interference) to show us his way. We closed 3 years later. People are the mainstay in business, not theories.

My point is: quality yes, but let's enjoy the other things in life without working 24/7/365 to sell a bag of crisps.
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  #53  
Old 03.09.2011, 09:32
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

The people to which you refer are the customers. Without them there is no company. I think many swiss companies lost sight of that years ago and blame their current woes on nasty foreigners coming over here and threatening their (protected) way of life.

I am not actually a fan of all pervasive retailing, my issue is that it seems to be totally skewed toward the "service" provider.

There are restaurants that do not open at weekends. There are shops that stock nothing they display and everything must be ordered. There are shops with seemingly random opening times that don't even adhere to their own schedules. I could go on.

I don't think that being customer-focussed is a theory that is too complex for most businesses to understand.

AYB


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People are the mainstay in business, not theories.

My point is: quality yes, but let's enjoy the other things in life without working 24/7/365 to sell a bag of crisps.
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  #54  
Old 03.09.2011, 10:24
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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Nobody in CH ever got sacked by doing the same as everybody else, doing the minimum possible for your clients is considered good enough.
At the same time, people who do outperform, and it is not so difficult, are starting to get rewarded. It might catch up little later in retail, or services, but voila. You outperform, might have a couple of naysayers on the way, and ostentational sabotage, but overall, you move on. The naysayers stay put.

Climate is changing.

I am not sure why people argue using this "bag of chips" banalization of people's needs. Who can put a value on differentiated people's needs, ie bags of chips represent all that one can possibly wish for, starting bread one cannot buy due to long work hours, or meds, or kid's day care hours.

This need to cater to people's different life styles (and those who actually outperform, who don't make it to the shop till 6:30pm or those who are limited by gazillions of normal, every day reasons) shouldn't be banally linked to consumerism or evil eager beavers wanting to push poor workers to spend whole day at retail. Since, whole day at work, over the top working environment isn't even legal, or I doubt there wouldn't be a way to make it work, legally, in some smart modification. Loads of things are allowed here when there is an incentive.

I laugh now at the notion of "locals wouldn't want it" one hears all the time. Since the response I get from my local friends is the same, they are also struggling the same way I do with over regulated, user unfriendly market that penalizes customers, limiting shop hours, unwillingness to go a little further in serving but choosing to intimidate a customer instead, limiting day care hours, school hours, etc etc.
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  #55  
Old 03.09.2011, 11:10
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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You forget, that the majority of the population - contrary to what the SVP would have you believe - are resolutely Swiss... and why on earth would they want to shop "out of hours"?
The market where I sell my wares is open until 8pm 6 days a week and I get so many locals who are astonished that 1, we do this happily and 2, the city allows it. But they are all happy about this slight shift in offering something different. 6.00 - 8.00 in the evening is the busies part of my day.

Re Sunday opening, almost everyone here would rather be open on a Sunday and closed Monday (we are not a retail park but a small specialist food market with bars and restaurants so it would become a great destination venue for a rainy Sunday). The management here agree and, from what they have shared with us, some city officials agree too. It will just take some time to change licenses and laws and to get the backing of the local residents to allow us to do this. But then again, us, the local residents and our customers, are probably not the "average Swiss"
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Old 03.09.2011, 11:51
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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You forget, that the majority of the population - contrary to what the SVP would have you believe - are resolutely Swiss... and why on earth would they want to shop "out of hours"?
They do, they are really really desparate to do so. Have you seem Zurich RailCity and Zurich AirportCity on a Sunday? And guess why do both have a full-size Migros? Hint: it's not because there are so many desperate travellers wanting to stock up on Swiss meat before they fly out.
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Old 03.09.2011, 11:53
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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The people to which you refer are the customers. Without them there is no company. I think many swiss companies lost sight of that years ago and blame their current woes on nasty foreigners coming over here and threatening their (protected) way of life.

I am not actually a fan of all pervasive retailing, my issue is that it seems to be totally skewed toward the "service" provider.

There are restaurants that do not open at weekends. There are shops that stock nothing they display and everything must be ordered. There are shops with seemingly random opening times that don't even adhere to their own schedules. I could go on.

I don't think that being customer-focussed is a theory that is too complex for most businesses to understand.

AYB
I can't believe that you said that. Do you think that Swiss businesses don't know that people are their customers? have you actually ever worked in industry? If retailers, producers, manufacturers and the rest can earn a living in CH (and obviously a good one) where's the problem? If restaurant owners have the week-end off, so what, they are obviously able to afford it. The mountains beckon.

Anyway I was talking about the people we had in the sales and production processes whose livelihood was swept away from under their feet by a theorist who didn't know what selling was about - having only sat on his backside in Harvard.

I have been in Switzerland for more than 40 years, have a lot of Swiss and English friends and really don't know what you are talking about when you talk of foreigners in that way. Naturally there are moments and places where the foreign misadjudgement of Swiss culture is hard to accept, but there are no not-average tendencies among the Swiss. At least there have been no fences erected...
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Old 03.09.2011, 12:27
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The people to which you refer are the customers. Without them there is no company. I think many swiss companies lost sight of that years ago and blame their current woes on nasty foreigners coming over here and threatening their (protected) way of life.

I am not actually a fan of all pervasive retailing, my issue is that it seems to be totally skewed toward the "service" provider.

There are restaurants that do not open at weekends. There are shops that stock nothing they display and everything must be ordered. There are shops with seemingly random opening times that don't even adhere to their own schedules. I could go on.

I don't think that being customer-focussed is a theory that is too complex for most businesses to understand.

AYB
It's a great Idea which I agree with, however you will loose money. CH is a tiny Market with 3 main languages and a total population 60% of greater London. Restrictive rules , regulations & very high salaries will cause you grief. I am sure you are not interested in my advice, now, you may look back & think differently.
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Old 03.09.2011, 12:35
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

But isn't anyone who is starting up bound to lose cash? You need to invest 1st, freebies, marketing, attractive campaign, go out of your way to makeup for those restrictions here..hire family or devoted staff, students, get an apprentisage licence to train ace eager staff and be paid for it, gets stuff done by companies exchanging favors. I think the problem with biz here is people expect to get the investments immediately. Long span planning, when you are customer orientated and actually invest in your clientele..dunno. People seem to be busy buying crappy and over priced furniture into their shops, or doing a make over that actually means repainting the shop the same color as before and rearranging a few same things on the shelves. The shop windows? Ayyy.

I have been in retail and biz as an intepreter for years, and representing a tiny market as well, so kinda know how to buy a customer. One has to go hugely out of one's way and I do not see that here.

There are great businesses here, too, but mostly, where I live, you feel like asking the shop person a favor to be able to pay for his stuff that is only offered to you on his terms in restricted way. And that kind of attitude change does not even require cash nor investments.
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Old 03.09.2011, 12:51
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Re: Contrarian Business. Someone please...

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Have you visited London or Singapore on a Sunday? They are both full up with morons who must buy something, who must take the spouse to buy something.
Sounds a bit like the shopping centres in the ZH Hauptbahnhof and airport on a Sunday.

Why not apply the same "No Sunday trading" rules to the restaurants and cafes and railways too as well? I mean those folk need a day off too and surely people can cook for themselves one day a week no? As for the railway a healthy walk does the soul good...
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