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Old 14.04.2012, 10:52
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

I have a friend who recently purchased a car in Germany and there ended up being a bit of a back and forth on his facebook page about doing so with him naturally being very defensive about his decision to import the car, the cost savings, etc. What I didn't point out, mainly because I'd like to remain friends, is that he himself runs a business in which he charges upwards of 200% more than his competitors in Konstanz.
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Old 14.04.2012, 10:55
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

the prices at Coop or Migros don't bother me so much, it's the atmosphere that drives me up a wall. seriously, grocery shopping here is like a prostate exam - none of the participants wants to be there, and everybody just wants it over as quickly and painlessly as possible.
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Old 14.04.2012, 11:00
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

I believe that one thing that Migros, COOP and the others overlook is the VERY strong possibility that by lowering prices significantly by accepting smaller profit margins they would actually boost spending in Switzerland.

My argument is two fold, firstly by lowering the prices for every day necessities this would allow the consumer to buy extras as well. So, for example, instead of just buying the ingredients for a spaghetti supper, lower prices could mean the consumer also buys a bottle of wine to go with supper.

Secondly, by lowering prices consumers would have spare cash - a lot of which would go to local businesses. For example, having a pizza, a salad and a beer will set me back about 35CHF/head at a local pizzeria - so I don't eat out = lost sales for the restaurant. Drop the price to a more reasonable 20 - 25CHF a head (we are talking pizza here, not perigord truffles or ostrieta caviar) and I wouldn't worry too much about the cost of having a pizza out = sales for the restaurant.

Returning to the OP, I find this campaign by Migros, COOP et al. to have a strong whiff of hypocrisy about it as such companies are very fast to cite "free-Market Capitalism" and competitive forces when it's in their favour
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Old 14.04.2012, 11:06
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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I believe that one thing that Migros, COOP and the others overlook is the VERY strong possibility that by lowering prices significantly by accepting smaller profit margins they would actually boost spending in Switzerland.

My argument is two fold, firstly by lowering the prices for every day necessities this would allow the consumer to buy extras as well. So, for example, instead of just buying the ingredients for a spaghetti supper, lower prices could mean the consumer also buys a bottle of wine to go with supper.

Secondly, by lowering prices consumers would have spare cash - a lot of which would go to local businesses. For example, having a pizza, a salad and a beer will set me back about 35CHF/head at a local pizzeria - so I don't eat out = lost sales for the restaurant. Drop the price to a more reasonable 20 - 25CHF a head (we are talking pizza here, not perigord truffles or ostrieta caviar) and I wouldn't worry too much about the cost of having a pizza out = sales for the restaurant

Returning to the OP, I find this campaign by Migros, COOP et al. A bit hypocritical as they are very fast to cite "free-Market capitalism" when it's in their favour
Absolutely correct!!! To me high prices do not equal high quality rather it means low demand hence the prices are inflated to make uo for the low amount of supplies and it is a domino effect.

We try our best to not shop in COOP and Migros who have not grasped the concept but Aldis and Lidls have and then we have germany only 15kms away. I don't owe Migros or COOP anything when they are simply a monopoly looking after their own purses and not Switzerland anyway
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Old 14.04.2012, 11:10
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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the prices at Coop or Migros don't bother me so much, it's the atmosphere that drives me up a wall. seriously, grocery shopping here is like a prostate exam - none of the participants wants to be there, and everybody just wants it over as quickly and painlessly as possible.
That's why I love my local grocery store.

"Guete Morge, Olygirl"
"Guete Morge, Vreni"
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"Au."

The prices might be a wee higher but I feel like a valued customer and even a friend.
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Old 14.04.2012, 11:16
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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According to my simple brain, all this will affect the employees directly through lower wages or layoffs. One used to be proud of being a shop assistant and enjoy a wage that could still offer a good quality of life. I'd hate to see that idea lost
Me too, but I do think that it's achievable without gouging the consumer.

Perhaps I'm reading it wrong, but the sense I get from all the posts here (and on other similar threads) is not so much an unwillingness to shop in Switzerland but an unwillingness to readily agree to being bled dry because Swiss businesses consider the Swiss consumer to be an uncomplaining "cash-cow" to be milked to the last drop...

Unfortunately, it easy to get the impression that many Swiss businesses don't regard cross-border and Internet shopping as an important wake-up call, but instead regard it as an opportunity to "play victim" (if I may be so harsh), point fingers at the poor beleaguered consumer and beg for more protectionism...
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Old 14.04.2012, 11:21
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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That's why I love my local grocery store.

"Guete Morge, Olygirl"
"Guete Morge, Vreni"
"Gahts dir guet?"
"Danke, ja. Und dir?"
"Au."

The prices might be a wee higher but I feel like a valued customer and even a friend.
the cashier's name for sure means you're not shopping at a Coop or Migros in Zurich.

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Old 14.04.2012, 11:23
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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the cashier's name for sure means you're not shopping at a Coop or Migros in Zurich.

True story: There are 3 Vrenis, 1 Margrit, 1 Rita, 1 Karin and 1 Martha who work in the store. All from the area.
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Old 14.04.2012, 11:27
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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Much of Aldi and Lidl products have a Swiss flag on the wrapping, yet they are still much, much cheaper than Migros / Coop. Aldi bread comes from Thurgau and is excellent.


.
This is because COOP and Migros are only interested in ripping as much as possible off the cash cow called the swiss consumer. We notice this also in particular meat which hardly decreased ion 6 years in these 2 chains. Aldis and Lidls in the same time have moved meat from 30CHF a kilo to 10CHF.

Guess where most of our food shopping in Switzerland comes from???
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Old 14.04.2012, 11:52
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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According to my simple brain, all this will affect the employees directly through lower wages or layoffs.
Of course it will affect retailers and their employees, but the longer they wait to change their unsustainable pricing structures the tougher it will become for everyone involved.

The Swiss price level may have been justified back when most consumer products were actually made in Switzerland with Swiss employees earning Swiss wages. But today, most consumer products are made either in the EU or in Asia and there is simply no more cost-based justification for such high prices.

Prices in a market are usually set according to what the customer is willing to pay. Swiss consumers have been willing to pay inflated prices for years, even after the production of the goods was first moved to Italy, then to Romania, then to China. But now, due to the falling Euro the perception of many Swiss is rapidly changing and the willingness to pay prices that are up to several times those in neighbouring countries is dropping like a stone.
In this situation, Swiss retailers can either try to retain the status quo or they can do everything possible to bring prices down to a competitive level by putting pressure on importers, distributors and foreign suppliers. Customers putting pressure on retailers certainly helps here.

For a business or an industry it’s very dangerous not to look ahead and adjust to changes in the marketplace.

A textbook example is the Swiss brewing industry. Switzerland used to have proud breweries. Only problem: They were living off a cartel from 1935 until the late eighties. Once the cartel was gone, most of the major breweries were taken over by Heineken and Carlsberg which now have a combined market share of about 65%. You can read about it in German in wikipedia.

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That's why I love my local grocery store.

"Guete Morge, Olygirl"
"Guete Morge, Vreni"
"Gahts dir guet?"
"Danke, ja. Und dir?"
"Au."

The prices might be a wee higher but I feel like a valued customer and even a friend.
I think that these kinds of places will do just fine. I recently read that Volg had a good year in 2011.

Last edited by Mark75; 14.04.2012 at 12:07. Reason: typo
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  #31  
Old 14.04.2012, 12:57
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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Secondly, by lowering prices consumers would have spare cash - a lot of which would go to local businesses. For example, having a pizza, a salad and a beer will set me back about 35CHF/head at a local pizzeria - so I don't eat out = lost sales for the restaurant. Drop the price to a more reasonable 20 - 25CHF a head (we are talking pizza here, not perigord truffles or ostrieta caviar) and I wouldn't worry too much about the cost of having a pizza out = sales for the restaurant.
Being a couple without children in the US we ate at restaurants on average 4-5 times a week. In Zurich we've reduced it to probably 2. In the supermarkets, I buy as little as possible at regular price usually buying only on sale (30-40%) or 50% off stuff. So you're dead on with this comment except we're finding it closer to 45CHF a head having a couple of glasses of wine each.

What I don't understand is how a supermarket can regularly price say a bottle of water at 1 CHF and the next day it's on sale for 1/2 CHF. Wine 20 CHF next week sale at 10 CHF. I am thankful for those sales ;-)
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Old 14.04.2012, 13:03
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

It depends on how much income you bring home. We strongly support the local economy, buying our fruits and vegs + eggs from the local farm, + Geneva milk (even if it over every other milkds) and everything else we can, but for example we simply cannot afford some meat like beef and yes, if we fancy a nice steak (once a month), we pop over to France to buy it. Before anyone jumps in, yes, we have almost become vegetarians, healthier but we still need the odd meat from time to time. Some on much higher salaries would not blink at spending so much money on meat (unless they are vegetarians!). And I really don't know how someone on 60K can afford to feed a family of 4. Sometimes you have just no choice but go over the border.

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Right. Come to Switzerland for the great quality of life and high wages but spend your money across the border. It's like biting the hand that feeds you.
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Old 14.04.2012, 13:12
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

I agree, supermarket shopping here reminds me of when we lived in East Germany: souless, uninviting, noone smiles at you (and god forbid if you need to ask for help to one of the attendants!), goods not always well presented, a logic of aisles that puzzles me (tins can be spread out in three different sections). There are some exceptions and I always get really good service from the fishmonger at Co-op. But when I compare to Waitrose of Sainsbury's back in the UK, the supermarkets here are a let down. One exception with Manor, but not for your everyday needs (expensive). I'm now doing the on-line shopping just to avoid the depressing experience of it all.

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the prices at Coop or Migros don't bother me so much, it's the atmosphere that drives me up a wall. seriously, grocery shopping here is like a prostate exam - none of the participants wants to be there, and everybody just wants it over as quickly and painlessly as possible.
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Old 14.04.2012, 13:25
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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Me too, but I do think that it's achievable without gouging the consumer.

Perhaps I'm reading it wrong, but the sense I get from all the posts here (and on other similar threads) is not so much an unwillingness to shop in Switzerland but an unwillingness to readily agree to being bled dry because Swiss businesses consider the Swiss consumer to be an uncomplaining "cash-cow" to be milked to the last drop...

Unfortunately, it easy to get the impression that many Swiss businesses don't regard cross-border and Internet shopping as an important wake-up call, but instead regard it as an opportunity to "play victim" (if I may be so harsh), point fingers at the poor beleaguered consumer and beg for more protectionism...
True.

Look at from a Swiss importer's perspective.
About a year ago 100CHF bought about 60 euros worth of goods.
Now the same 100CHF buys about 80 euros worth of goods.

So why aren't prices of imported goods 25% cheaper in Switzerland versus a year ago?

The Swiss businesses are not the victim; the Swiss consumer is the victim.
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Old 14.04.2012, 13:39
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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I have a friend who recently purchased a car in Germany and there ended up being a bit of a back and forth on his facebook page about doing so with him naturally being very defensive about his decision to import the car, the cost savings, etc. What I didn't point out, mainly because I'd like to remain friends, is that he himself runs a business in which he charges upwards of 200% more than his competitors in Konstanz.
That's ok. If he finds a price people are willing to pay good luck to him. Telling me what I should be prepared to pay is what I object to which seems to be the goal of the aforementioned campaign.
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Old 14.04.2012, 14:32
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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the prices at Coop or Migros don't bother me so much, it's the atmosphere that drives me up a wall. seriously, grocery shopping here is like a prostate exam - none of the participants wants to be there, and everybody just wants it over as quickly and painlessly as possible.
In the previous town we lived in, there were some smaller grocers and quite a few farms. I used to buy from those places whenever and wherever I could because their produce was fresh and very good quality, they often had selections the supermarkets didn't have and the service was friendly. Plus I liked supporting a small family-run business. Now, we're in a more urban area, and we don't have those options and we're stuck with Coop and Migros for the most part. We also do cross-border shopping, but not with any regular frequency.

In general, I don't mind paying more for higher quality, but the quality, for the most part, in the supermarkets here is just average. The level of service varies, but overall, mediocrity prevails. It's not just in the supermarkets, it's in other businesses and retailers here as well.

Once I went into Grieder on a Saturday afternoon, about 15 mins before closing. While I was browing at some shoes, a sales associate came up to me and said she couldn't sell me anything because they would be closing soon (in 15 mins) and that if I wanted to buy something I would have to come back Monday. I was flabbergasted. Obviously, customer service is not their priority. It is primarily this attitude towards customers that drives me over the border and online to shop (that and the limited selection). I worked for a very upscale retailer in NY many years ago during college, and there is NO way we would ever have turned away a customer, even if was five minutes to closing. That would have been grounds for termination.
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Old 14.04.2012, 14:46
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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True.

Look at from a Swiss importer's perspective.
About a year ago 100CHF bought about 60 euros worth of goods.
Now the same 100CHF buys about 80 euros worth of goods.

So why aren't prices of imported goods 25% cheaper in Switzerland versus a year ago?

The Swiss businesses are not the victim; the Swiss consumer is the victim.
Not true on 14 april 2011 mid rate was 1.2879 today it's 1.2017 so 77.75 v 83.20 about 7%.
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Old 14.04.2012, 14:57
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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Not true on 14 april 2011 mid rate was 1.2879 today it's 1.2017 so 77.75 v 83.20 about 7%.
Doesn't time go by quickly....

OK, let us say 2 years & 20%
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Old 14.04.2012, 15:02
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

The real point is that COOP and Migros are complaining about customers going to Euro countries to buy when they are doing exactly the same and then marking up the prices by 20-30% and wondering why customers are behaving the way they are.

The customers can see straight through their hyprocrisy and know that COOP and Migros are only protecting the agricultural industry. Its just a Cartel with COOP, Migros and the agricultural industry joined together to look after their own bank accounts.
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Old 14.04.2012, 15:07
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Re: Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

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Doesn't time go by quickly....

OK, let us say 2 years & 20%
Or 31st October 2007 1.6762 to 11 Aug 2011 1.0499 approx 37%.
Of course in October 2007 shopping was not cheaper in Germany, in many cases more expensive!
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