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  #41  
Old 06.01.2012, 10:11
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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That'll be communism you're referring to.

Most of Europe has socialist parties (eg SP) and often socialist governments (eg Tony Blair's Labour Party).

Britain's "free" National Health system is an incredibly socialist ideal and Europe's largest employer, but has yet to start a war, although it is responsible for killing many people if the Daily Mail is to be believed....
Those parties are social democratic parties, not socialist parties.

But I guess at the end of the day it all boils down to semantics and definitions.

Nevertheless, it was not the socialist parties, and neither was it the social democratic parties who (in most cases) were the driving force behind bailing out banks. It was the right of centre and more pro-free-market parties who did it.
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  #42  
Old 06.01.2012, 11:58
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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Second, what is under discussion is to RAISE the dutyfree-limits.
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What is asked for on the political side is a RAISE of the duty-free limits, and this by about 200%.
Look, just read the original interview.

Joos Sutter of Co-op in Sonntagszeitung:
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Man sollte bei den Freibeträgen über eine Senkung diskutieren. Momentan können pro Person für 300 Franken Lebensmittel ennet der Grenze eingekauft werden. Das ist viel. Zudem bekommen die Kunden auch noch die Mehrwertsteuer zurück. Hier ist die Politik gefordert, denn dem Staat geht einiges an Einnahmen verloren.
Source

The word "Senkung" isn't particularly ambiguous. Co-op are clearly asking for the limit to be lowered.
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  #43  
Old 06.01.2012, 13:51
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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Indeed, but I don't like their kind, either (and I have spent a lot of time up there).

Tom
Hmm.. Just out of curiosity, what was the thing you did not like?
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  #44  
Old 06.01.2012, 15:47
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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What is asked for on the political side is a RAISE of the duty-free limits, and this by about 200%.

Manipulating the exchange rates is what the finance-markets-speculators did and do, what is required is some ANTI-manipulation. That this includes an inflation-risk is obvious and is the reason why Mr Hiltebrand was so caucious. Major industrialist Blocher now has found a route either to oust the man or to bring him under control. And Mr Blocher is supported in this by Mr Rechsteiner, the powerful trades-unions leader, in an amazing alliance.
Really? Who's asking to raise the limit?

The only report regarding is this

Der SVP-Parlamentarier will für gleich lange Spiesse sorgen bei der Freigrenze, für die Waren aus dem Ausland abgaben- und mehrwertsteuerfrei in die Schweiz eingeführt werden dürfen. «Entweder wirkt der Bundesrat darauf hin, dass die Freigrenze im angrenzenden Deutschland angehoben wird – oder er sorgt dafür, dass weniger Güter unversteuert in die Schweiz kommen können», fordert Germann

Some SVP politicians want to reduce the duty-free limit. As Germans from the region apparently have a far lower limit.


I understand if exporters want a higher Euro course But before retailists start whining about the strong Euro I feel they should have a look at themselves first. As has been briefly touched upon. Coop and Migros have some of the highest margins in Europe which is for example almost twice as much as Sainsburys in the UK. They also need to stick together to fight the suppliers for lower prices. It's ridiculous that some suppliers demand in Switzerland higher prices than what it is sold for by retailers in the EU.


I experienced an example yesterday regarding margins in Switzerland. The perfume that I've used for a few years now is occasionally on sale in Denner. I missed that sale and wanted to buy it online yesterday. Import parfumerie which belongs to Coop and calims to be ''the nr.1 specialst discounter for perfumes'' if you google them, wants 96 Fr for it. Otto's and geschenkidee.ch sells it for 36 Fr! I was able to buy two and it was still cheaper than getting it from the ''nr. 1 discounter'' which belongs to the Coop.

If they don't want to compete on prices then the shops need to offer more service. For example I was looking to buy new football boots. I went into Ochsner sport. There was roughly 2 costumers apart from me and 3 employees. I was looking and trying on shows for around 15-20 min. Not once did someone come to ask how I was getting on. I then went hime and bought them online from the english equivalent JJB sport for half the price.

I support them though regarding the opening times. I find 18.30-19.00 is far too short to browse around the shops. I would really need to rush to get my shopping done and wouldn't have time to browse other items. Becuase of this I buy my clothes on holidays when I have time and nearly all non-food items online when it suits me and not the shop
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  #45  
Old 06.01.2012, 17:17
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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As Germans from the region apparently have a far lower limit.
Yes, they have a limit of €90 (including an additional limit of €30 for food), but this only applies to:
- cross border workers
- bus or truck drivers who cross the border regularly (i.e. more than once a month)
- people who cross the border within 15 km from their place of residence and haven't travelled further than 15 km (from the border crossing) within Switzerland.

For everyone else, the limit is €300 which is even higher than the Swiss limit!

E.g. if a guy living in Konstanz buys something in Kreuzlingen, the limit is €90, but if he goes to Frauenfeld the limit is already €300.

In case anyone is interested, here are the relevant links to the German Zoll website:
regular limits
reduced limits

Last edited by Mark75; 06.01.2012 at 18:01. Reason: links added
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  #46  
Old 06.01.2012, 17:35
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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Yes, they have a limit of €90 (including an additional limit of €30 for food), but this only applies to:
- cross border workers
- bus or truck drivers who cross the border regularly (i.e. more than once a month)
- people who cross the border within 15 km from their place of residence and haven't travelled further than 15 km (from the border crossing) within Switzerland.

For everyone else, the limit is €300 which is even higher than the Swiss limit!

E.g. if a guy living in Konstanz buys something in Kreuzlingen, the limit is €90, but if he goes to Frauenfeld the limit is already €300.
Thanks I saw the 300 Euro limit but couldn't find the limit for locals but as often there's quite a lot of misinformation being spread.
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  #47  
Old 07.01.2012, 01:05
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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What is asked for on the political side is a RAISE of the duty-free limits, and this by about 200%.

Manipulating the exchange rates is what the finance-markets-speculators did and do, what is required is some ANTI-manipulation. That this includes an inflation-risk is obvious and is the reason why Mr Hiltebrand was so caucious. Major industrialist Blocher now has found a route either to oust the man or to bring him under control. And Mr Blocher is supported in this by Mr Rechsteiner, the powerful trades-unions leader, in an amazing alliance.
About "Major industrialist Blocher now has found a route either to oust the man or to bring him under control"

Not sure about this, if I was Hildebrand I would be pushing for the people involved to be prosecuted under Swiss bank secrecy laws.
They know who made the original leak so it should be relatively simple to follow the chain &, who knows, it could lead all the way to Blocher. Then Blocher would be the one under control?
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  #48  
Old 07.01.2012, 02:51
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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Really? Who's asking to raise the limit?

The only report regarding is this

Der SVP-Parlamentarier will für gleich lange Spiesse sorgen bei der Freigrenze, für die Waren aus dem Ausland abgaben- und mehrwertsteuerfrei in die Schweiz eingeführt werden dürfen. «Entweder wirkt der Bundesrat darauf hin, dass die Freigrenze im angrenzenden Deutschland angehoben wird – oder er sorgt dafür, dass weniger Güter unversteuert in die Schweiz kommen können», fordert Germann

Some SVP politicians want to reduce the duty-free limit. As Germans from the region apparently have a far lower limit.


I understand if exporters want a higher Euro course But before retailists start whining about the strong Euro I feel they should have a look at themselves first. As has been briefly touched upon. Coop and Migros have some of the highest margins in Europe which is for example almost twice as much as Sainsburys in the UK. They also need to stick together to fight the suppliers for lower prices. It's ridiculous that some suppliers demand in Switzerland higher prices than what it is sold for by retailers in the EU.


I experienced an example yesterday regarding margins in Switzerland. The perfume that I've used for a few years now is occasionally on sale in Denner. I missed that sale and wanted to buy it online yesterday. Import parfumerie which belongs to Coop and calims to be ''the nr.1 specialst discounter for perfumes'' if you google them, wants 96 Fr for it. Otto's and geschenkidee.ch sells it for 36 Fr! I was able to buy two and it was still cheaper than getting it from the ''nr. 1 discounter'' which belongs to the Coop.

If they don't want to compete on prices then the shops need to offer more service. For example I was looking to buy new football boots. I went into Ochsner sport. There was roughly 2 costumers apart from me and 3 employees. I was looking and trying on shows for around 15-20 min. Not once did someone come to ask how I was getting on. I then went hime and bought them online from the english equivalent JJB sport for half the price.

I support them though regarding the opening times. I find 18.30-19.00 is far too short to browse around the shops. I would really need to rush to get my shopping done and wouldn't have time to browse other items. Becuase of this I buy my clothes on holidays when I have time and nearly all non-food items online when it suits me and not the shop
Mr Germann wanted to become Bundesrat and failed. So much about "they".

That the retailers including Lidl-CH and Aldi-CH btw now join the industry is good, whatever their motives.

No, the shops do not need to give more service but LESS service. Aldi and Lidl give far less service than Migros-Coop.

Ochsner is rather expensive. You could have got the same stuff from shops like Dosenbach and H&M and C&A for 30% of the price. If you go to the most expensive shops and then compare their prices with the cheapest online solution, you cannot convince me.-

You might go shopping at noon, and you have enough time for everything. Provided, you have a modern employer with flexible working times.
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  #49  
Old 07.01.2012, 03:22
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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Yes. But asking for government intervention at the slightest hint of competition certainly isn't.
The problem is NOT "competition" but currency-speculation.

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I went shopping in France and the parking was full of Swiss cars. We also noticed an increased control from the customs when entering Switzerland. They do check the quantities of meat you buy.
This reaction of the customs authorities is wrong and outright idiotic. Beside the point that people can easily circumvent the problem by using different points of entry, it is wrong to pick on the shoppers, instead of tackling the financial markets.

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And let's not forget the other possible demand - they're also asking for the duty-free limit to be lowered to keep/force people to shop in Switzerland.

I seriously doubt collecting duty on smaller amounts will be profitable for the state once the paperwork has been paid for, but of course these retailers don't care - they just once to dissuade shoppers with the nuisance factor.

It's one thing manipulating an exchange rate (at potentially huge downstream inflationary cost to the general population, disproportionately hitting the poorest) to keep large exporters temporarily in business; but asking the public to pay through inflation in order to give an incredibly profitable company more profit is purified opportunistic greed.

These companies are a long, long way from death's door - and even if they were, there are many companies who would love to jump in and take over their incredibly privileged and protected market position in a shot. I can't wait for every other business sector in Switzerland to start demanding their best exchange rate be enforced simultaneously too
A) it is NOT keeping somebody TEMPORARILY in business but to keep the money earners of the general population, the export industry and the inbound tourism, in good shape.

B) That the chiefs at Migros-Coop want to stop the efforts to raise the duty-free-limits is understandable but shabby and lousy.

C) Migros and Coop now have joined the general economy, partially out of wanting more profits, but most of all, because the two co-operatives are THE OWNERS of many export-industry-companies !

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all that is true.

However, I read somewhere that people from the right side of the political spectrum are more likely to be loyal to Migros, whereas those from the left are more loyal to Coop. And at least by looking at the people I know I see some truth in this. And strangely, its not out of persuasion but because, I guess, the Migros style just clicks more with one mindset and the Coop style more with the other.
Coop, while in principle also owned by its "Genossenschafter" is still under defacto-control of the Social Democratic Party. Migros, owned by its Genossenschafter is clearly left-of-centre, and is detested by people from the right side of the political spectrum as much as Coop. True, the present president of Migros is in my view rather a bit of a conservative. Arguing against Lidl and Aldi with exactly the same arguments used against Migros some 50 and 40 years ago.

The conservative grandmother of a schoolfriend NEVER went shopping in Migros (Coop was not yet around, and its predecessors LVZ and KVZ were oldfashioned and not yet self-service, even if the LVZ was already under SP control). She opposed that "leftist discounter club" who according to the rightwingers "destroyed normal business by too low prices". The Migros-Genossenschafter of present days in votings show to be rather more to the left as the Genossenschafter of the old days. Migros originally was founded as an A.G. but then changed into a co-operative by aging Mr Duttweiler.

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Let's say it's on open secret that is so open that the people concerned admit it. Or are you suggesting it is not so?

The FDP as a party is basically a representation of business interests. In the past that ws not so, as the FDP played a pivotal role in building Switzerland's statehood and continued to play that role until about the 1950s. But today the FDP is just the party that takes money from business and defends their interests. There's no real secret about it. I believe that they are the only party that doesn't even charge a membership fee because they don't need anybody else's money.

In the last 20 years or so that has shifted a little again as many businessmen have aligned themselves with the SVP, and of course the FDP has failed in such affairs as its bail-out of Swissair. But the FDP still definitely represents the old school of business.
The FDP always was the conservative party of business. This was the reason why its left-wing in around 1900 broke away and became the Social-Democratic Party. There were farmers parties and parties of small business and of the gastronomy who gradually merged into the BGB which later was re-named into SVP. But only Mr Blocher after 1980 managed to steer the party to the far right and attracting some business tycoons to the party. However, the position of the FDP is different from Canton to Canton. The FDP in Zürich is fairly right-wing while the FDP in Luzern is centrist, as the CVP in Luzern is rather right-wing. There were Liberal Parties in Bern and Graubünden who half a century ago merged into the SVP, and now have broken away as the BDP. A problem for FDP, CVP and even SVP now is the Green Liberal Party, the former right wing of the Green Party, which now is heavily moving into the Centrist field.

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  #50  
Old 07.01.2012, 14:12
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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The problem is NOT "competition" but currency-speculation.
Oh, no. The real problem is an utter lack of price competition in many sectors of the domestic market! What happened over the last two years is simply that the sinking Euro exposed that long existing problem in a way that started to hurt Swiss retailers. Many Swiss consumers finally woke up from their "everything is better in Switzerland" dreams and their "more expensive means better" illusions, dropped their irrational behaviour and started to shop across the border in numbers.

After all, it's not like shopping abroad wasn't worth it when the Euro was floating around 1.50 and the smarter consumers already knew about that and took advantage of it back then. What changed with the Euro crisis is the awareness of broad sections of the population how badly overpriced many imported goods actually are and this awareness will not go away, even with a higher EUR exchange rate. This means that we finally have some competitive pressure and that the current price level in Switzerland will most likely not be sustainable, even with an exchange rate of 1.40. Therefore Swiss retailers would better start putting some serious pressure on importers and foreign suppliers and having a close look at their cost structure instead of crying for government intervention like little babies.
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  #51  
Old 07.01.2012, 19:09
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

In short:

Longer opening hours, yes please.
Weaker Franc, No.

That is all.
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  #52  
Old 07.01.2012, 19:47
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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Mr Germann wanted to become Bundesrat and failed. So much about "they".
Yeah the head of Coop and some SVP politicians are asking for a duty-free price reduction. So much for ''the political side'' asking for a price increase.

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No, the shops do not need to give more service but LESS service. Aldi and Lidl give far less service than Migros-Coop.

Ochsner is rather expensive. You could have got the same stuff from shops like Dosenbach and H&M and C&A for 30% of the price. If you go to the most expensive shops and then compare their prices with the cheapest online solution, you cannot convince me.-

You might go shopping at noon, and you have enough time for everything. Provided, you have a modern employer with flexible working times.
If the want to keep their price so high than they bloody well better give better service to justify that price. Otherwise they had better lower their price to justify the service they're giving.

Regarding Ochsner that's rubbish. They're probably the biggest sports retailer in Switzerland. I'm comparing them to the biggest sports retailer in England.

firstly C&A and H&M don't do sports stuff.

Secondly regarding

''If you go to the most expensive shops and then compare their prices with the cheapest online solution, you cannot convince me''

Since your telling me to compare like for like, suggesting I go to somewhere like Dosenbach and buy a pair of Victory shoes for 60Fr instead of Addidas world cup is pretty lame. In Shops here be it Ochsner or Atleticum or private sports shops they cost around200 Fr in season.

In Any shop outside of Switzerland when I bought them they cost £65 or Euro. I've saw JJB has put up the price to £80 but thats still a massive difference


And yes I do have have flexible working times but why should I do my shopping when the shops want me to come? They want my money so I expect them to adjust to my needs. I'll go shopping when it suits me if the Swiss aren't prepared to adjust then I'll take my money either to other countries or online. Tough luck

Last edited by yjt; 07.01.2012 at 19:58. Reason: changed shoe type and price
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  #53  
Old 07.01.2012, 20:15
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

I remember when the CHF was roughly 1.6, my CH OH lived in Basel, it started to make no sense at all shopping in DE, Swiss shops were actually cheaper!


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Oh, no. The real problem is an utter lack of price competition in many sectors of the domestic market! What happened over the last two years is simply that the sinking Euro exposed that long existing problem in a way that started to hurt Swiss retailers. Many Swiss consumers finally woke up from their "everything is better in Switzerland" dreams and their "more expensive means better" illusions, dropped their irrational behaviour and started to shop across the border in numbers.

After all, it's not like shopping abroad wasn't worth it when the Euro was floating around 1.50 and the smarter consumers already knew about that and took advantage of it back then. What changed with the Euro crisis is the awareness of broad sections of the population how badly overpriced many imported goods actually are and this awareness will not go away, even with a higher EUR exchange rate. This means that we finally have some competitive pressure and that the current price level in Switzerland will most likely not be sustainable, even with an exchange rate of 1.40. Therefore Swiss retailers would better start putting some serious pressure on importers and foreign suppliers and having a close look at their cost structure instead of crying for government intervention like little babies.
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  #54  
Old 07.01.2012, 20:20
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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I remember when the CHF was roughly 1.6, my CH OH lived in Basel, it started to make no sense at all shopping in DE, Swiss shops were actually cheaper!
Even @ 1.6 a lot of things were cheaper in de, for example, under 6 euro for a pack of 20 recordable DVDs versus what? 15/18CHF in CH?
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Old 07.01.2012, 20:24
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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Even @ 1.6 a lot of things were cheaper in de, for example, under 6 euro for a pack of 20 recordable DVDs versus what? 15/18CHF in CH?
I was talking more about food & supermarket shopping, my CH OH would want to spend 400 Euro on monthly food shopping followed by 200 CHF weekly shopping followed by 100 CHF daily shopping for 2 people & 7 cats. No doubt the cats ate Scottish salmon & caviar.
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  #56  
Old 07.01.2012, 20:29
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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I was talking more about food & supermarket shopping, my CH OH would want to spend 400 Euro on monthly food shopping followed by 200 CHF weekly shopping followed by 100 CHF daily shopping for 2 people & 7 cats. No doubt the cats ate Scottish salmon & caviar.
& you were on left overs?? arme schwein!!
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  #57  
Old 07.01.2012, 20:32
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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& you were on left overs?? arme schwein!!
I have no idea what she spent the money on, we could have eaten in the indian resturant in DE every night and saved a fortune!
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Old 07.01.2012, 20:36
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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I have no idea what she spent the money on, we could have eaten in the indian resturant in DE every night and saved a fortune!
Women & their mysterious ways; probably there were several families living well off your rubbish sacks.
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Old 07.01.2012, 20:44
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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Women & their mysterious ways; probably there were several families living well off your rubbish sacks.
More likely every cat within a 5 mile radus!
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Old 07.01.2012, 21:30
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Re: Swiss retail giants call for weaker franc

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I remember when the CHF was roughly 1.6, my CH OH lived in Basel, it started to make no sense at all shopping in DE, Swiss shops were actually cheaper!
This may very well be the case for some stuff, but let's look at a typical clothing item with pricing of €99 in Germany and CHF 199 in Switzerland. Even with an exchange rate of 1.60, buying in Germany still equals to savings of more than 25% including Swiss VAT!
The price difference for many items such as detergents, cosmetics, etc. is often even higher.
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