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  #101  
Old 15.05.2012, 11:01
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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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.
Yes or leave a coin in the coin-holder of your car
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  #102  
Old 15.05.2012, 11:15
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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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.
I lived in London for a few years and don't remember the mountains or the lakes; also London might be multi-cultural with many nationalities but only onw language is used for marketing. packaging etc.

My point - the geography of Switzerland is very different to the geopgraphy of greater London, and here you have to see to three different langiuages/cultures.

For the record, when coming from DE or FR we shop before crossing the border. Otherwise Aldi ocasionally (by car) with the local Co-Op, Denner and Migros. Promo stuff wherever possible. Money we save is used to spend on trips to stuff in CH.

I'm not that bothered about the supermarkets here to be honest, although I do like the fact that there's less ready made crap (but it still exists, e.g. Betty Bossi). It amazes me what's on sale in my mother's local Asda back in the UK!

Finall, I'm living in a foreign country again, vive la difference. I do not want everywhere to be the same and standardised! Saying that I do enjoy eating at McDonald's every now and then.
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  #103  
Old 15.05.2012, 11:25
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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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.
Ohio springs to mind.

Tom
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  #104  
Old 15.05.2012, 11:25
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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The quality of food in all the Aldis I've been in is excellent and usually cheaper than Migros/Coop, sometimes by a lot. My main shop is done in Aldi for nearly everything, veg, meats, chilled and frozen. There are a few food items I prefer from Migros and Denner and so buy them there, but that's all and I don't even bother with Coop.
I'll second that!

Yes the setting is a bit bland at Aldi but I am not there to admire the fancy advertising (I'm happy with the way I am and don't need fancy things around me to feel better about myself). As for packing? I have my coop and migros plastic bags (hehe) ready to go in the trolley and pack straight into them, easy. However it must be said that on the reare occasions that I do enter Migros or Coop I feel as though it's X-Mas time. The Swiss two really do make the shopping experience pleasurable, but it does come at a big cost.

On average I spend HALF at Aldi compared to the Swiss two. For example I have a pair of running shoes which fit fine that I bought for 8% of the cost of a pair of J.Wolfskin running shoes. O.K I am not a jogger so perhgaps I don't need the top running shoes but this is a huge discount on products which are not a lot different sold in more up market shops.

But would I shop at Aldi if I won the lottery? I'll be honest...Not for everything. Once one becomes used to shopping at Aldi one wonders why one did'nt shop there years ago...

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  #105  
Old 15.05.2012, 11:52
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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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.
It's not such a big deal, but it's just another unnecessary nuisance supermarkets throw at their customers.
Yeah, sure, I can ask the cashier or get change at the customer service desk in bigger stores but often the carts are outside, so I have to walk in first, probably wait, get some change, go back out again to finally get a cart.

To me that's acceptable at inexpensive places like Aldi or Lidl but a full service supermarket with coin carts just sends the message that the store is run by a bunch of greedy penny-pinchers who don't care about their customers.
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  #106  
Old 17.05.2012, 07:35
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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It's not such a big deal, but it's just another unnecessary nuisance supermarkets throw at their customers.
Yeah, sure, I can ask the cashier or get change at the customer service desk in bigger stores but often the carts are outside, so I have to walk in first, probably wait, get some change, go back out again to finally get a cart.

To me that's acceptable at inexpensive places like Aldi or Lidl but a full service supermarket with coin carts just sends the message that the store is run by a bunch of greedy penny-pinchers who don't care about their customers.
Agreed.

Swiss would love Wegmans. Just google the supermarket Wegmans. Largest selection of highest quality food you can find. Every Swiss that has come here loves Wegmans and wished they had them there.
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  #107  
Old 17.05.2012, 11:01
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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A)
D) The Swiss are happy NOT to be told by YOU where when and whom from to shop ! If YOU want to dictate it it is your freedom to feel like it. But do you really want to say that all the Swiss who purchase things from Aldi and Lidl are NOT Swiss just because YOU want to say it ???
Up to the point of reading this I was thinking, good answer. After reading this part I'm left thinking "more of this crock of #$%# sarcastic attitude from another so called forum legend" ....

The OP's observations are dead on accurate, Switzerland is a closed market where competition is restricted by tarrifs, import duties and other mechanisms to protect the Swiss power brokers in the grocery and food industry, which only serve keep prices and profit margins artificially higher than can be found just across the boarders in France and Germany for the same goods.

While some costs are higher in CH, such as real estate, it's well documented in the Swiss media that the high margins don't relate to high wages for many of their workers, instead nice fat juicy profit margins for the companies and their board members salaries.

YOU should try to act more like the experienced, knowledgeable expat you want to be seen as and give a balanced view based on that knowledge and not come off like some condescending jerk when someone makes a valid observation
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  #108  
Old 17.05.2012, 11:38
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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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).
the asparagus from Spain and France are GOOD and tasty, and at least as good as CH produce coming onto the market later, and often at far higher prices. That British choices exceed the "local" choices here of course, unless you of course accept stuff from Lombardia, Piemonte, Liguria, Côte d'Azur, Provence, Burgundy, Alsace, Baden-Württemberg and Vorarlberg as "local produce" . The area I described is about the size of Southern England, so that the comparison fits.
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  #109  
Old 17.05.2012, 11:38
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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.
Yet US beef is sold in Switzerland, hormone warning label attached, at several times the US price.

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That British choices exceed the "local" choices here of course, unless you of course accept stuff from Lombardia, Piemonte, Liguria, Côte d'Azur, Provence, Burgundy, Alsace, Baden-Württemberg and Vorarlberg as "local produce" .
I certainly do, as most produce at Coop/Migros is either from Switzerland or then from Spain or even further away.

Ironically, you can get sometimes more local produce in Germany than at Coop or Migros. Last year I once bought some cucumbers from Reichenau (near Konstanz) at Kaufland. The next day at Migros they only had Spanish ones at double the price!
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  #110  
Old 17.05.2012, 11:54
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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The OP's observations are dead on accurate, Switzerland is a closed market where competition is restricted by tarrifs, import duties and other mechanisms to protect the Swiss power brokers in the grocery and food industry, which only serve keep prices and profit margins artificially higher than can be found just across the boarders in France and Germany for the same goods.
--
While some costs are higher in CH, such as real estate, it's well documented in the Swiss media that the high margins don't relate to high wages for many of their workers, instead nice fat juicy profit margins for the companies and their board members salaries.
--
-
tariffs, import duties, restrictions ?
-
the tariffs ? you might specify what "tariffs" you mean
the import duties ? in accordance to international agreements, down to almost zero, so that MI-COOP no longer can justify their line by this
-
mechanisms ? YES, there at times of harvesting in some areas is a BAN against imports. which means that you at times only get overpriced CH stuff of doubtable value. This is NOT to support Coop or/and Migros, but a subsidy to an UNcompetitive agricultural sector here ! reality is that most Swiss agriculture can only survive due to a variety of such mechanisms. And this does not improve the profits of MIGROS-COOP but reduce their profits ! As it either prevents people from buying not really needed stuff and encourages people from going accross the border.
-- the family of my mother lived in Schaffhausen and Stein-am-Rhein and did do shopping in the German "Realm" since the 19th Century. It was known what was cheaper in CH and what was cheaper in DR

the costs of personnel on the bottom line are not higher in CH than in Germany. What however matters is the inflated costs of real estate and the lack of scale .
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  #111  
Old 17.05.2012, 12:40
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Random question?

Is Swiss Coop affiliated in anyway with UK Coop?
Or the Italian Coop too?
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  #112  
Old 17.05.2012, 15:28
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Yet US beef is sold in Switzerland, hormone warning label attached, at several times the US price.
I don't know about CH but meat coming from animals treated with hormonoes are not sold in EU:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17364542
"The new deal sets an annual EU quota of 48,200 tonnes for high-quality North American beef from cattle that have not been treated with growth hormones."
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  #113  
Old 17.05.2012, 17:33
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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I don't know about CH but meat coming from animals treated with hormonoes are not sold in EU:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17364542
"The new deal sets an annual EU quota of 48,200 tonnes for high-quality North American beef from cattle that have not been treated with growth hormones."
I don't know about hormones and whether hormones in Switzerland are under the same laws as genetically treated stuff. But the EU quote does not apply to Switzerland as Switzerland is not in the EU and agriculture is a sector which has been kept out of CH-EU agreements. It also was kept out of the EAA project And when the EAA contract, by 50,5% was sent down by Mr Blocher, Bundestrat Jean-Pascal Delamuraz very swiftly started the Bilateras, carefully again keeping agriculture out

But generally speaking, I regard the anti-hormones-treatment and anti-genetic-treatment position in Europe (including Switzerland) as hysteric. The attempt to force US producers no longer to apply either treatment, simply is childish, if you look at the size A) of the intra USA market and B) at the size of the non-European market. Billions of people survive thanks to the Genetic improvements, and then comes Europe with its negative population development and wants to teach the world
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  #114  
Old 17.05.2012, 18:44
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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I don't know about CH but meat coming from animals treated with hormonoes are not sold in EU
It's legal to sell in Switzerland as long as the vendor labels it accordingly.

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But generally speaking, I regard the anti-hormones-treatment and anti-genetic-treatment position in Europe (including Switzerland) as hysteric.
First of all, these are two very different issues.

As far as hormones are concerned, it's pretty well known how they work. Eating some US beef which may contain some hormone residue once in a while will do no harm to anybody. However if you eat such meat two or three times a day, things might look differently.
Personally I'm fine with the Swiss approach of allowing it to be sold while informing the consumer. However I clearly expect Swiss meat producers to refrain from using growth hormones given the high prices here.

Now genetically modified food is an entirely different story. Fact is, that we still don't know very much about how it affects the human body and the environment. It's basically a huge experiment courtesy of some major corporations such as Monsanto and Syngenta.

But what is known and published is rather alarming. E.g. it has been found and documented by several studies that genes which were designed to build resistance towards some pesticides into crops (e.g. Roundup Ready) can migrate to non-GM crops and wild plants.

IMHO the EU and Swiss position on GM food is absolutely justified.
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  #115  
Old 17.05.2012, 19:20
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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It's legal to sell in Switzerland as long as the vendor labels it accordingly.


First of all, these are two very different issues.

As far as hormones are concerned, it's pretty well known how they work. Eating some US beef which may contain some hormone residue once in a while will do no harm to anybody. However if you eat such meat two or three times a day, things might look differently.
Personally I'm fine with the Swiss approach of allowing it to be sold while informing the consumer. However I clearly expect Swiss meat producers to refrain from using growth hormones given the high prices here.

Now genetically modified food is an entirely different story. Fact is, that we still don't know very much about how it affects the human body and the environment. It's basically a huge experiment courtesy of some major corporations such as Monsanto and Syngenta.

But what is known and published is rather alarming. E.g. it has been found and documented by several studies that genes which were designed to build resistance towards some pesticides into crops (e.g. Roundup Ready) can migrate to non-GM crops and wild plants.

IMHO the EU and Swiss position on GM food is absolutely justified.
Thanks for the explanations. Explanations about things I find a bit confusing, to be honest. I in principle however support the producers using growth hormones, at least in principle. I expect the authorities to set clear limits. But as I am a Non-Smoker I risk eating such stuff 3 times per day

In regard to the genetically treated food, the fact that such genes can migrate to other crops/plants is not astonishing at all, and so not alarming. And to condemn something even the experts apparently do not yet know too much about, is wrong. Nothing against being critical, but if they on Swiss TV speak about "verseucht" instead of "behandelt" it is extremist panic-mongering, and if there even are rules/regulations/laws of this kind, they are wrong and premature.

So that what I judge as "hysteric" is HOW things are handled in politics and in the media. And I regard the EU/Swiss position on GM food as extreme and the USA position on this as justified.
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  #116  
Old 17.05.2012, 19:26
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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And to condemn something even the experts apparently do not yet know too much about, is wrong.
How can you put something on the market if, as you say, not even the experts know much about it?
We are playing the Sorcerer's Apprentice, and why? Because somebody makes a lot of money (Monsanto and friends).
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  #117  
Old 17.05.2012, 19:39
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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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.
By that logic, prices in microstates such as Andorra, San Marino or the Channel Islands should be very high. Are they?

I have never been to Andorra or San Marino. My last stay in the Channel Island was a few years back, but I don't remember it being outrageously expensive.

Last edited by Mark75; 17.05.2012 at 22:16. Reason: fixed typo
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  #118  
Old 17.05.2012, 21:01
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

Quite an interesting thread!
Concerning the 'choice of products issue' in the French speaking part of Switzerland we have Aligro which has cheaper and a lot better meat than Coop and Migros + a good choice of fish (for swiss standards - please don't compare to your average seaside meditteranean village :-)). There are also lots of products from across Europe.
Concerning the lack of alcohol from Migros, does anybody have a clue why it's like that? It was always 'unexplainable' to me!
Finally, I truly love the Frey chocoloates in Migros. Does anybody know if one can visit the factory (like Cailler?)
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Old 17.05.2012, 22:28
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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How can you put something on the market if, as you say, not even the experts know much about it?
We are playing the Sorcerer's Apprentice, and why? Because somebody makes a lot of money (Monsanto and friends).
Because "we" have done so since tomatoes and potatoes arrived in Europe, and coffee and tea made their way into the continent. And chocolate arrived from South America and some people here in Switzerland (and in Belgium) developed some good stuff out of it, and nobody tested their products for decades.

YES, the first importers of tomatoes and potatoes, the first produceers of modern chocolate, just as the first producers of whiskey/whisky and gin did. When some distilleries in Switzerland started to produce rum and whisky etc under licence (I speak about Affentranger/DiWiSA) they did not know more, but realised the potential profits. Pioneering means not just to put yourself as entrepreneur at risk but of course also your consumers . Looks as if the Americans still have retained a bit of their "pioneer spirti".

Some tests in lab condition are nice, but cannot replace reality of decades. The USA government may be forced at a stage in the future to introduce restrictions, but Europe will have lost market-shares in the area of billions of Euros by then. Simply by being over-cautious and too heavily influenceed by the "Greens" !
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Old 17.05.2012, 22:36
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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By that logic, prices in microstates such as Andorra, San Marino or the Channel Islands should be very high. Are they?

I have never been to Andorra or San Marino. My last stay in the Channel Island was a few years back, but I don't remember it being outrageously expensive.
NO, as you mention micro states. They are market-wise parts of the major country. San Marino marketwise simply is Italy. Andorra = France. The Channel Islands are special. By a shrewd policy the two Bailiwicks managed to keep costs down. But the point is that Switzerland still is three/four different market who in many ways are not (yet) parts of the German or the French or the Italian markets.

You however conveniently forget that this for a long time in case of Germany meant that Switzerland was cheeaper in some respects and more expensive in some others. The distorted exchange rate only came up due to the greed of the bankers who no longer accepted to be around for the economy but more and more assumed that the economy is around for those blood-suckers
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