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Old 25.04.2012, 23:49
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Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

This has been driving me nuts: you go to any town anywhere in CH, and Migros and Coop are there, always! I have been told that they are just really good businesses and are simply products of the free market. I simply do not believe that. Europe has a history of protecting its "national champions," and, fairly well travelled as I am, I have never, ever, ever seen 2 solitary companies with total control. (And I just love how the Swiss pretend there's competition with the Migros-/Coop-owned Kiosk, Perry Mart and Denner!) Sure, I'm happy that we can go to Aldi or Lidl - hidden away in the outskirts of some cities - but they're rare.

I'm left to think the Swiss are happy to be told where, when and from precisely whom they can shop for their appallingly limited selection of overpriced goods...
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Old 26.04.2012, 00:01
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

Switzerland is like the Ark - you get 2 of everything. 2 grocery choices, 2 choices for petrol, 2 choices for beer, etc., etc., etc. there's only 8 million people in the whole country, though, how much do you really need?

I like the setup. andI absolutely loathe Aldi and Lidl, those places are almost as depressing as Walmarts.
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Old 26.04.2012, 00:02
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Old 26.04.2012, 01:58
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This has been driving me nuts: you go to any town anywhere in CH, and Migros and Coop are there, always! I have been told that they are just really good businesses and are simply products of the free market. I simply do not believe that. Europe has a history of protecting its "national champions," and, fairly well travelled as I am, I have never, ever, ever seen 2 solitary companies with total control. (And I just love how the Swiss pretend there's competition with the Migros-/Coop-owned Kiosk, Perry Mart and Denner!) Sure, I'm happy that we can go to Aldi or Lidl - hidden away in the outskirts of some cities - but they're rare.

I'm left to think the Swiss are happy to be told where, when and from precisely whom they can shop for their appallingly limited selection of overpriced goods...
A) Denner is part of the Migros Group, just as Globus
B) Coop is the result of mergers of some co-operatives under Social-Democratic Party control, and so moved up to number 2
C) Migros was founded as an "AG" (Company of limited liability) and then was turned into a co-operative. The revolutionary ideas of modern methods and low prices was what made the success of that co-operative
C-2) one major problem of Migros is that modern Coop copied the Migros business model very nicely. Another problem for Migros today is that Aldi and Lidl work exactly on the Migros business model, possibly more so than the Migros of today
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 ???

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Switzerland is like the Ark - you get 2 of everything. 2 grocery choices, 2 choices for petrol, 2 choices for beer, etc., etc., etc. there's only 8 million people in the whole country, though, how much do you really need?

I like the setup. andI absolutely loathe Aldi and Lidl, those places are almost as depressing as Walmarts.
A) Migros + Coop " Spar " Aldi + Lidl + VOLG are not two but six.
B) Migrol + Coop-Benzin + BP + Shell + Esso + AGIP are SIX and not two
C) beside the Heineken / Tuborg duopoliy therre is now quite a number of small alternatives
D) there in many places, in the USA, in Europe and in the Arab World, usually are at best TWO alternatives around and only more with some good luck. , so that the situation here, even if not ideal, is rather normal

Last edited by Wollishofener; 27.04.2012 at 00:59. Reason: Merging of successive posts
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Old 26.04.2012, 10:48
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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B) Migrol + Coop-Benzin + BP + Shell + Esso + AGIP are SIX and not two
+AVIA + LandiOil + "The Chicken Man" One in Glarus (can't remember the name)

So that's 9
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Old 26.04.2012, 10:54
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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+AVIA + LandiOil + "The Chicken Man" One in Glarus (can't remember the name)

So that's 9
Ruedi Rüssell!
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Old 26.04.2012, 10:56
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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Ruedi Rüssell!
You got that from "Chicken Man" - kudos

Especially, after a quick google search, you realise the logo is actually an elephant!!!

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Old 26.04.2012, 11:02
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

This thread feels like déjà vu all over again ...
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Old 26.04.2012, 11:07
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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You got that from "Chicken Man" - kudos

Especially, after a quick google search, you realise the logo is actually an elephant!!!

I was actually going to say that I think he's got a trunk or something, but for some reason, everytime I pass one of those gas stations, I think it's a güggeli stand which is why I associate him with chicken, I think. Then again, for all that name/brand recognition, in 7 years here, I've never filled up my tank there.

At least something interesting came out of this tired old dead horse of a topic!
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Old 26.04.2012, 11:09
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

I don't think it's protected in the sense that the state makes sure that they are always around. I don't think there is direct involvement from them.

I do think the average swiss consumer is indifferent to the alternative and just follows what other people do. Shopping in Lidl, and Aldi is a betrayal to Switzerland....shopping in Denner is accepted if you are lower income. My "favorite" is the swiss person who has a favorite between Coop and Migros and swears by that store.

I find the two companies especially Migros disingenuous, Migros won't sell alcohol products in it's stores but allows it in Denner. In the newspaper they say they are not angered by shopping tourism, but behind the scenes they are active in the lobby trying to raise the chf-euro peg.
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Old 26.04.2012, 11:12
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

Aldi has the best pasta, imho :+
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Old 26.04.2012, 11:13
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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+AVIA + LandiOil + "The Chicken Man" One in Glarus (can't remember the name)

So that's 9
Chicken Man? Tamoil!
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Old 26.04.2012, 11:13
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

We generally shop at Coop or Migros (mostly Migros) because we absolutely hate the quality of the food and the experience of shopping at Aldi or Lidl. I will go there to buy sale non-edible goods like running socks/innertubes/blackberry bushes/appliances but the experience is pretty much always unpleasant. Why on earth do they only allow you a dinner plate sized are to bag your groceries? I've never gotten more of a "thank you for shopping, now get the f##k out of our store" vibe than I do at the Lidl/Aldi checkout.
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Old 26.04.2012, 11:23
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

I have found this link which should demonstate that there are definitely more than 2.
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Old 26.04.2012, 12:12
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

I don't think the problem in Swizterland is the lack of competition, but the fact that the 2 bigger competing companies have a de facto cartel on prices, and this means no competition.
While the average Swiss may think that this is ok, that the Swiss system works and that you should not betray it, most of us "auslanders" find this unacceptable.
I find not all but a lot of the prices at Coop or Migros irritating and shop for food in Germany or combine leasure trips to Italy or France with shopping sessions.
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Old 26.04.2012, 12:44
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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While the average Swiss may think that this is ok, that the Swiss system works and that you should not betray it, most of us "auslanders" find this unacceptable.
I find not all but a lot of the prices at Coop or Migros irritating and shop for food in Germany or combine leasure trips to Italy or France with shopping sessions.
Yep, the French and the Italians look pretty happy right now thanks to their humongous shopping choices
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Old 26.04.2012, 13:04
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

Damn both of them, hence I only buy groceries in Jelmoli
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Old 26.04.2012, 13:26
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

Buck the system and make a run for the border.
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Old 26.04.2012, 21:06
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

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We generally shop at Coop or Migros (mostly Migros) because we absolutely hate the quality of the food and the experience of shopping at Aldi or Lidl. I will go there to buy sale non-edible goods like running socks/innertubes/blackberry bushes/appliances but the experience is pretty much always unpleasant. Why on earth do they only allow you a dinner plate sized are to bag your groceries? I've never gotten more of a "thank you for shopping, now get the f##k out of our store" vibe than I do at the Lidl/Aldi checkout.
Perhaps because you're not supposed to bag your groceries there? The idea is to put everything back in your trolley, pay your bill and then move over to the store width shelf on the other side so you can pack things at your own pace. Or, as we do, take the trolley out to our car and pack our bags straight into the boot/trunk. And at least you can get around your trolley to empty/fill it, unlike in Migros where the aisles are so narrow you can't actually get from the back to the front of your trolley once you're in the aisle. That really annoys me because I have to be in the front of the trolley or behind it. I'm not that tall and trying to reach the far end of the trolley basket from either end is impossible for me unless I can move around it to change position.

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.
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Old 26.04.2012, 21:12
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Re: Migros & Coop: free market or protected national champions?

Random question?

Is Swiss Coop affiliated in anyway with UK Coop?
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