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View Poll Results: Are you happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?
Yes, I'm happy with the duopoly. 7 10.77%
No, I hate it. 37 56.92%
My name is Carlos R and I'm a unique and precious snowflake 21 32.31%
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  #41  
Old 01.04.2011, 14:12
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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That's where you're going wrong (and not just you) - it's not a 'see thing' but a 'taste thing'.
What does Migros toilet paper taste like?
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  #42  
Old 01.04.2011, 14:19
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

Personally I miss Carrefour. They had a few shops until 2006 but, lacking a broad presence in the country and unwilling to invest more, they decided to exit the market altogether. So they sold their stores to... Coop
Anyway i'm lucky to be close to Italy where I can shop even on Sundays in stores with a larger varity of brands. Unfortunately the pricing differential has narrowed after the introduction of the euro, but you can't have everything!
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  #43  
Old 01.04.2011, 14:22
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

I shop mostly at the coop - because Migros doesn't sell booze and the coop has a bigger store near to me.

I hate having to go to several places to shop - when you have kids in tow and limited time it's a royal pain in the backside.

And what I hate the most is when I go to the shop with a recipe in my head and there are no mushrooms in the shop. Or no red peppers. Or no leeks. Take your pick, there are often basic things that are just missing at normal shopping times and in "large" stores.

I hate it when you pick up meat in the shop and it has no "reduced %" sticker on it and when you get home you see the best before date is today.

But, I have to say that things are better than they were. When I first arrived here 15 years ago, you used to have to shop at both stores if you had any kind of brand preference because it just wasn't allowed that both stores stocked the same brand. So if you prefered pepsi you would have to go to the Migros because coop didn't sell it. If you wanted Ariel washing powder you'd have to go to the coop - and this was really the same with all branded products. I think there are still things you can only get at one (and I guess Migros will never sell alcohol) but branded products are now appearing in both stores which is a step forward at least.

I would live to see a Carrefour near us or a really big superstore. That's what I miss the most. I don't think there's a single coop or migros that is as big as my parents very average small town size Tescos.

One thing I like about the coop and migros though is the lack of processed pre-packaged food. Yes, OK, I do miss the simple convenience of it, and it is on the rise here too (15 years ago you would not have found any "ready meals" at all in the coop/migros) but I have also gotten back into cooking real food because of that which has to be a good thing - especially for my kids. If we had been in the UK for example I don't doubt that when they were babies we would have fed them the extremely cheap jars of baby food, whereas here they are so expensive and so few and far between that it makes far more sense to make your own baby food. So, here the coop/migros food mafia has worked in favour of my kids healthy eating habits - for which I am thankful!
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  #44  
Old 01.04.2011, 14:32
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

When we moved house recently, we were put within range of COOP's largest store in Northwest CH - a huge thing located between Ettigen and Therwil.

On my first visit, although I appreciated the fact that it had a larger than average range of items (compared to other large COOPs), I couldn't help but feel that it still seemed to stock "more of the same" rather than "more of everything".

Before that we were regular shopers at M-Parc. Again after the big re-vamp, they just seem to stock more of the same rather than using the space as an opportunity to stock a greater range of items.

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  #45  
Old 01.04.2011, 14:36
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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What does Migros toilet paper taste like?
I don't know. It goes nowhere near my mouth, unlike food.

Toilet paper doesn't really interest me but food does.

With regards to the paper, we wait until there's one of those stupid 'buy 48 rolls for the price of 12 rolls' offers that both Migros and Co-op have, stock up and then forget about it for another six months.
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  #46  
Old 01.04.2011, 14:40
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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That's where you're going wrong (and not just you) - it's not a 'see thing' but a 'taste thing'.
Thank you, Mr Literal Interpretation, but even if *certain* food items are *somewhat better*, I can generally get equally good versions of those items by shopping around. I can also get much better versions of the vast majority of items in much more variety at a lower price. When it comes to food, Swiss quality cannot be applied to the vast majority of what's available. You can't argue that the bad items are non-Swiss because that simply places the blame from making inferior items the items to choosing to sell inferior items (when they don't have to and if they were truly concerned about 'quality').
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  #47  
Old 01.04.2011, 14:46
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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Thank you, Mr Literal Interpretation, but even if *certain* food items are *somewhat better*, I can generally get equally good versions of those items by shopping around. I can also get much better versions of the vast majority of items in much more variety at a lower price.
Sorry, I thought you were being literal as well.

The number of times I've heard ex-pats (as they like to call themselves), state that, for example, Tesco chicken breasts are better because they are three times as big as ones at Co-op or Migros without ever commenting on the taste - irrespectively of whether the taste is better or worse in the Tesco, or in the Swiss ones.
And do you know why? It's either because they can't tell the difference or they don't care.

Says it all really...
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  #48  
Old 01.04.2011, 14:50
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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I don't know. It goes nowhere near my mouth, unlike food.
Sorry, I couldn't help myself commenting this out of the context. However if overpriced food tastes better, then the fashion should be more fashionable, toilet paper better ought to be batter, washing powder more effective and so on and so on.

That's clearly what they'd like us to believe.

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Toilet paper doesn't really interest me but food does.

With regards to the paper, we wait until there's one of those stupid 'buy 48 rolls for the price of 12 rolls' offers that both Migros and Co-op have, stock up and then forget about it for another six months.
And still pay more then just buying at regular Lidl or Aldi prices.

I could give several examples when "Cogros" charges more (up to 2x more) for exactly the same items, and that includes foods (fruit in particular). Recently I've seen exactly the same brand of pinapples sold at my local Migros and Lidl, the second being exactly half the price.

I'm not a fanboy of any particular shop. I'm lucky to have a Migros, Coop, Aldi and Lidl within reach. I did my shopping several times in each of them and "taste" is the last thing that could be associated with a supermarket brand. I'd rather buy Appenzeller Surchoix at Lidl, but will go to Migros for a rack of lamb.

And hey, my wife loves the 5 CHF (Dutch) tulips from Lidl as much as the 10 CHF (also Dutch) ones from Migros, so why bother ;-)
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  #49  
Old 01.04.2011, 14:58
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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I'm not a fanboy of any particular shop. I'm lucky to have a Migros, Coop, Aldi and Lidl within reach. I did my shopping several times in each of them and "taste" is the last thing that could be associated with a supermarket brand. I'd rather buy Appenzeller Surchoix at Lidl, but will go to Migros for a rack of lamb.
I agree. I'd rather go to the market and butcher to get veg and meat - which I try to do as much as possible but when that's not possible, I much prefer the taste of the meat and vegetables at CO-OP or Migros than those on sale at Tesco, for example.

I'm not alone in this view either.
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  #50  
Old 01.04.2011, 15:00
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

In terms of choice, the bigger Co-Ops are nice and airy, and have lots of choice... They are just not cheap vs the sort of thing us UK folk are used to.

Having lived in the US, apart from the meat (which is super cheap... often for a reason, as it's been pumped with hormones & water), fresh produce is very expensive there also. My parents shop at local farmer's markets for better quality & fresher produce as a result, buying things that are in season.

We live in Geneva, and shop in Aldi for certain things we like from there, Co-Op for something a bit more specific, and pop into France to a market if we want something local & a bit less expensive.

I think Lidl & Aldi are starting to challenge the status quo, but you're right - there is not much competition. Even Denner is owned by Migros.

One of the problems the Swiss have is that fresh produce is produced on a very small scale... There are no industrial-scale farms as in France & the UK. My father - coming from a family of market gardeners (the family business was cucumbers - we grew lots of cucumbers and supplied them to many UK supermarkets) - suggested that this was because Switzerland's never had to change, as it's never had a major war to fight.. This really revolutionised farming in the UK.

My father has also described to me on many occasions the punishing tactics of the supermarkets to farmers in the UK, which is why the family business stopped with his generation, and my cousins & I all do something different these days...
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  #51  
Old 01.04.2011, 15:11
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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I agree. I'd rather go to the market and butcher to get veg and meat - which I try to do as much as possible but when that's not possible, I much prefer the taste of the meat and vegetables at CO-OP or Migros than those on sale at Tesco, for example.

I'm not alone in this view either.
Clearly agree. I think the discussion went a bit off topic, since as far as I know there is no Tesco in Switzerland. Within Switzerland, however, there is no reason to overpay at Migros/COOP if same produce can be bought elsewhere and for less. I love to see that the two big ones are losing ground with competition moving in. So no, I'm not happy with the duopoly and I'm happy to see it's now being challenged.
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  #52  
Old 01.04.2011, 15:14
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

I do remember someone here once claiming that Coop SihlCity was on absolute par with choice & quality with Waitrose in Canary Wharf
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  #53  
Old 01.04.2011, 15:59
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

I'm not going to moan here coz its friday and sunny but I am pleasantly surprised by our local Lidl which sells stuff at almost half to two thirds the price of our local migros and coop.
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  #54  
Old 01.04.2011, 18:32
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

Hmmm! I heard so much about Tesco on this forum that I went to check for myself. It was in Edinburgh last year. Cramped, dirty, dark, not that many products, and especially very little fresh produce on offer. ugh!
Sure there must be some mega Tescos but the one downtown was terrible.

It is well known that Switzerland has a competitive export industry but the internal market is very sheltered and not very competitive. Sure, it is not an ideal situation but this fragile balance (probably not sustainable long term) offers decent wages to most people.
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  #55  
Old 01.04.2011, 18:45
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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Hmmm! I heard so much about Tesco on this forum that I went to check for myself. It was in Edinburgh last year. Cramped, dirty, dark, not that many products, and especially very little fresh produce on offer. ugh!
Sure there must be some mega Tescos but the one downtown was terrible.

It is well known that Switzerland has a competitive export industry but the internal market is very sheltered and not very competitive. Sure, it is not an ideal situation but this fragile balance (probably not sustainable long term) offers decent wages to most people.
There are Tesco Metro shops in city centres, but these should be compared with Migrolinos. Tescos are, like for like, better in every measurable sense when compared with Cogros.
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  #56  
Old 01.04.2011, 19:12
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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I think Lidl & Aldi are starting to challenge the status quo, but you're right - there is not much competition. Even Denner is owned by Migros.

One of the problems the Swiss have is that fresh produce is produced on a very small scale... There are no industrial-scale farms as in France & the UK. My father - coming from a family of market gardeners (the family business was cucumbers - we grew lots of cucumbers and supplied them to many UK supermarkets) - suggested that this was because Switzerland's never had to change, as it's never had a major war to fight.. This really revolutionised farming in the UK.

.
That's plain wrong. Switzerland during WW2 used just about any piece of arable land to grow veg, just like any other isolated place. This included public parks etc. WW2 was tough on civilians for everyday life, just like other countries.

Otherwise the Swiss had a really protected internal market till around the 90s. Since then there's ever less farmers and their lands are often lost to "useful" aka not tobacco etc agriculture.

And as for chicken breasts, Swiss ones are awful, no matter what. I only buy French, usually from Manor.

Migros branded products (not M-Budget!) are usually pretty decent, especially biscuits/dried biscuits, as well as drinks. Their Ice Tea is highly addictive! (the blue packaged stuff in 2L packs, not the expensive 1.5l PET bottles).

Coop however I often have my doubts on what they sell. At least in Lausanne the big supermarkets have at last introduced proper meat & fish counters with butchers+fishmongers. That was sadly lacking. And yes we have markets and Asian+whatever for other veg. It's still a pain in the neck dealing with Saturday morning markets, when their tomatoes suck as badly as the CoGros.

Anyone got a good source of *tasty* tomatoes in the Vaud area?
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  #57  
Old 01.04.2011, 19:40
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

i don't know how many of you understand swiss german, but i find this one hilarious :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osC7G4u9Gp8
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  #58  
Old 01.04.2011, 20:03
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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At least the migros products have been around for years,
I agree , some of the products in Migros have been around for years by the looks of them. And why can't you buy Coke and Pepsi or other products in one store who wants to run around from store to store.
Quality is questionable, after awhile the aura of so-called Swiss quality wears off, chocolate watches maybe, but general food shopping, I'd say average quality.
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  #59  
Old 01.04.2011, 22:51
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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That's plain wrong. Switzerland during WW2 used just about any piece of arable land to grow veg, just like any other isolated place. This included public parks etc. WW2 was tough on civilians for everyday life, just like other countries.
Sure - they used the land. But the sort of large-scale commercial farming that exists in the UK/US/France doesn't exist in Switzerland in the same way.

Not so much a criticism, but a reality.
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Old 02.04.2011, 15:26
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Re: Who is happy with the Migros/Coop duopoly?

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I heard so much about Tesco on this forum that I went to check for myself. It was in Edinburgh last year. Cramped, dirty, dark, not that many products, and especially very little fresh produce on offer. ugh!
You were in Scotland, of course there was no fresh produce.
They only eat food if it's fried.
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