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Old 14.05.2012, 17:49
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Well I agree on the prices in the USA and on the service, not on the quality: in the USA it's legal to use growth hormones for cows, for example, which is forbidden in EU.
Believe it or not, in the U.S.A., we have something in supermarkets that Swiss people don't - it's called a choice. At our local supermarkets you can choose meat that doesn't have growth hormones. And guess what? It's still cheaper.

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And you're not charged here to use carts: money comes out of the cart when you return it. Yes in the USA usually there's an old person that does that for you.
1. If they charge you for carts, you need money on you in addition to your bank card, which can be inconvenient.

2. This is b.s., kids are employed to return the carts and they use that money for school, fun in the community, etc. and it gives people a job.

I love Switzerland and all. It's a beautiful country and the Swiss are skilled people. Skilled at watch making, chocolate making, banking, and unfortunately, bullshitting themselves about paying enormous prices for average goods.
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  #82  
Old 14.05.2012, 18:02
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Believe it or not, in the U.S.A., we have something in supermarkets that Swiss people don't - it's called a choice. At our local supermarkets you can choose meat that doesn't have growth hormones. And guess what? It's still cheaper.



1. If they charge you for carts, you need money on you in addition to your bank card, which can be inconvenient.

2. This is b.s., kids are employed to return the carts and they use that money for school, fun in the community, etc. and it gives people a job.

I love Switzerland and all. It's a beautiful country and the Swiss are skilled people. Skilled at watch making, chocolate making, banking, and unfortunately, bullshitting themselves about paying enormous prices for average goods.
Sensitive topic, eh?
Easy with that trigger...
First of all I'm not Swiss. I'm Italian and I do think Swiss supermarkets are expensive, in fact I usually go shopping in Germany. So as you can see, you misjudged something...

Growth hormones do not only relate to meat, they relate to milk and all diary products: ice creams, milk chocolate, sweets, and so on. How many of those products use milk of cows that have been injected with GH or not? How can you tell?

What I really like of the US supermakerts is another thing: the fact that i can go shopping at 2 in the morning.
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  #83  
Old 14.05.2012, 18:05
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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it's just protectionism - carrefour opened and then closed down and they were not allowed to build a larger shop
If this is true, it means they either closed a profitable store, or they had to enlarge to become profitable which means the original business case was flawed. Either way it sounds like poor managment on the part of Carefour and not the fault of anybody else.
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  #84  
Old 14.05.2012, 18:16
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Well, I'm not 100% sure, but I think the tomato paste I have is Aldi's and it's made with Italian tomatoes and manufactured in Germany.

The reason Aldi is so cheap is that overall, it's a much bigger operation than Migros or Coop. Although I believe Migros has some businesses outside Switzerland, Aldi has been expanding throughout Europe, Australia and the USA for years and has more than enough buying power to ensure it gets the quality products it wants. And what makes you think Aldi buys more products from China than the others? My weekly shop tonight doesn't have a single item from China in it. It's all from Germany, Switzerland or Austria apart from one from Spain and another from Chile.
Actually, Aldi is very clever at marketing and at loss leadership. The Aldi model is frequently discussed in economics courses etc and many have tried to emulate it and many have failed. It's much much more sophisticated than meets the eye. Aldi sells quite a lot of locally produced goods, so size alone does not explain their success or bargaining power. Neither does Aldi buy the cheapest stuff. In terms of quality many of their products are on par with mainstream labels (and often even made by the same people to the same standards). Their success has a lot to do with inventory managment (they can predict the amounts they can sell to a surprising accuracy), very clever marketing and public perception (meaning the perception of being cheap is often greater than the actual savings you make)
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  #85  
Old 14.05.2012, 18:22
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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About "The reason Aldi is so cheap is that overall, it's a much bigger operation than Migros or Coop"


Very true; I have a Swiss friend who makes cheese based on biologic principles (no chemicals, etc.) & it is very good.

He managed to meet with the appropriate Aldi buyer who said it was a great product but could he meet the volume requirements....
Aldi would place a first order of circa 400 tons & if it sold well then they would order 400 tons every week.
He does not make 400 tons in a year....
Actually, what Aldi do is identify small companies with good sellable products and invest in those companies to bring them up to the required volumes. If Aldi had been genuinely interested in your friend's cheese, they would have found a way.
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Old 14.05.2012, 18:40
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Growth hormones do not only relate to meat, they relate to milk and all diary products: ice creams, milk chocolate, sweets, and so on. How many of those products use milk of cows that have been injected with GH or not? How can you tell?
There are all sorts of things in the food industry that are forbidden which, if tested, turn out to get circumvented all the time in order to make a better profit.
I'm pretty sure, people being people, Switzerland and the EU is no exception to this.
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Old 14.05.2012, 18:56
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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There are all sorts of things in the food industry that are forbidden which, if tested, turn out to get circumvented all the time in order to make a better profit.
I'm pretty sure, people being people, Switzerland and the EU is no exception to this.
Ok, but at least in EU, GH are officially forbidden and people have a reference (the law). In my opinion this is a good thing.
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Old 14.05.2012, 22:42
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

I just returned from a short trip to London where I went shopping in Borough Market and as always after shopping there I feel short changed that my shopping choices in CH are a mere fraction of what you can find at Borough Market. Not only are the prices cheaper (although locals consider Borough Market to be one of the more expensive London markets) but the choice is immense - local produce as well as imported (i.e. European). Interestingly enough, the majority of the produce was British in origin; meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables (no elderly imported veggies that I could see...)

People may argue you can't compare CH to the UK, true. But you can compare the market size of London (Google says approx 7.8 million population) with the Swiss market (Google says also approx 7.8 million population). And with numerous local markets across London, you could claim that someplace like Borough Market - given the area it serves (mostly Southwark) would be the equivalent of a market that would serve a Swiss town or city... which raises the question... Why such a lousy choice in CH? Why don't Migros or COOP provide to the 7.8 million person CH market the sort of choice Safeway or Waitrose can offer the 7.8 million person London market? Even 50% of the choice available in Borough Market would be a multiple of what generally is on offer here in CH.

Is it the complacency of having a captive market or an uninformed customer base? I dont know, but I suspect that the innate conservatism of the Swiss is here working against them.
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  #89  
Old 14.05.2012, 22:56
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Is it the complacency of having a captive market or an uninformed customer base?
Both IMHO, combined with many Swiss' belief that everything is better in Switzerland than elsewhere.

Due to the lack of any serious competition(1), Coop and Migros offer the minimum of choice/quality they can get away with.

(1) Everyone else in the food market is much smaller and/or offers even less choice. Hence no true competition.
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Old 14.05.2012, 23:16
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Is it the complacency of having a captive market or an uninformed customer base? I dont know, but I suspect that the innate conservatism of the Swiss is here working against them.
Depends how you define choice.

If it has to do with the large range of ethnic fruit and vegetables, that has to do with the London demographic with a large number of people demanding and paying for those items. Switzerland doesn't have that market to the same extent so for an average retailer to offer those items wouldn't realy be comparable. If it's Balkan or Turkish items you're after, you may find them in Zürich but have more trouble in London. I'm sure the Swiss in London complain they can't get decent Schublig or horse meat in Sainsbury's. There is a difference between your favourite item not being there and there being no choice. It's all a question of perspective and being willing to adapt.
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Old 14.05.2012, 23:24
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Believe it or not, in the U.S.A., we have something in supermarkets that Swiss people don't - it's called a choice. At our local supermarkets you can choose meat that doesn't have growth hormones. And guess what? It's still cheaper.
-
A) in Swiss supermarkets you have as much a choice than in US supermarkets. You apparently are not aware of the fact that quite many E.U. regulations do NOT apply in Switzerland
B) cheaper ? you may have noticed that the USA marketplace is slightly larger than the Switzerland one ?? Does it matter ? Yes, economy of scale is important. A small market inevitebly drives prices up.
C) cheaper than what exactly ? I on visits to the USA in 1976, 1982, 1988 and 1997 always regarded the USA as EXPENSIVE and NOT as cheap, not at all. And I here refer to places like New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Charleston/SC, Savannah/GA, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston/TX, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas/Ft.Worth, Tyler, Marshall/TX and Shreveport/LA


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If they charge you for carts, you need money on you in addition to your bank card, which can be inconvenient.
-
people in Europe, whether having a bank card or not, always have a bit of cash with them

>>> the point I however agree with you is that the anti-GEN-improved food hysteria in Europe is clear rubbish
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Old 14.05.2012, 23:39
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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If it has to do with the large range of ethnic fruit and vegetables, that has to do with the London demographic with a large number of people demanding and paying for those items....
actually it doesn't, Borough Market is almost exclusively, but not completely, British food (there are other London markets for more ethnic ingredients). Take the very European (and seasonal) vegetable Asparagus: Last Saturday at the market I saw at least 4 types of asparagus (purple, white, two types of green) from about a good half dozen English suppliers from different counties.

One would think that the equivalent would be possible in CH (i.e. from local Swiss suppliers and from just across the border...) but, to date, when I've actually looked at the provenance of the Asparagus in Swiss supermarkets, I note that most of it's travelled a lot further than the Kentish purple asparagus travelled to London... (One also wonders just how tasty are those not quite yet in season asparagus shipped early to CH from places like Spain?)

So even discounting "ethnic" and "continental" foodstuffs, the choice of local meat and veg in someplace like Borough Market still exceeds the choice of local meat and veg in Swiss shops (and probably to quite an extent).

Last edited by TrainDoctor; 14.05.2012 at 23:50.
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Old 15.05.2012, 00:07
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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A) in Swiss supermarkets you have as much a choice than in US supermarkets.
I'm sorry, but being back in the US with just a relatively average supermarket in walking distance, this makes me
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Old 15.05.2012, 00:56
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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I'm sorry, but being back in the US with just a relatively average supermarket in walking distance, this makes me
- without Züri-Gschnetzlets ?
- without Cervalats ?
- without Bratwurst ?
- without Fleischkäs ?
- without Hörnli ?
- without Rivella ?
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Old 15.05.2012, 00:58
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

Replaced by 50 different types of brown sugar and 50 different brands of peanut butter. And one type of cheese. In a tube.
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Old 15.05.2012, 09:25
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Outside North America, jelly is a wobbly dessert. What you call "jelly", we call "jam".
Then what do you call what we call "jam"?

Tom
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Old 15.05.2012, 10:28
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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I'm sorry, but being back in the US with just a relatively average supermarket in walking distance, this makes me
I guess you're in SF? I've seen for myself that there are some fabulous supermarkets there. But is that so across the US? I've been to many many places where there was definitely no supermarket in walking distance, and the closest one by driving was often dismal beyond imagination.
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Old 15.05.2012, 10:36
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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>>> the point I however agree with you is that the anti-GEN-improved food hysteria in Europe is clear rubbish
To me instead the FDA approves things too much in a rush, before seriuos tests, under the pressure of lobbies.
GH are 1 example, recently there is also the case of aspartame.
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Old 15.05.2012, 10:49
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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A) in Swiss supermarkets you have as much a choice than in US supermarkets.
ROFLMAO!!!!

Sorry, Wolli, but yours is a classic case of Swiss myopia.

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You apparently are not aware of the fact that quite many E.U. regulations do NOT apply in Switzerland.
Do EU regulations apply in the US, then? What's your point?

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people in Europe, whether having a bank card or not, always have a bit of cash with them
I'm a person, I'm in Europe, and I rarely carry coins with me (yes, I know certain European men like to carry purses, but I'm not one of them). Thank God for Hiebers supermarkets with their "US-style" coinless trolleys.
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Old 15.05.2012, 10:55
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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I'm a person, I'm in Europe, and I rarely carry coins with me (yes, I know certain European men like to carry purses, but I'm not one of them). Thank God for Hiebers supermarkets with their "US-style" coinless trolleys.
I really don't get why people object to the coin deposit trolleys.

I've been to supermarkets many times and realised I didn't have any coins. Yet I never had trouble getting a trolley. Just ask the cashier.
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