Leading Swiss retailer axes 290 jobs

Migros, the biggest retailer in Switzerland, has announced it will cut 290 full-time jobs over the next three years following a drop in profit.

Leading Swiss retailer axes 290 jobs

The federation of cooperatives said in a statement it was making itself fit for the future and hoped to save 120 million francs through a restructuring of operations.

The majority of jobs will be lost through natural wastage and early retirement and reduced working hours but around 70 redundancies are expected, the retail giant said. 

The Migros cooperative currently employs 2,700 workers.

The business magazine Handelszeitung said most of the job cuts would hit marketing and IT departments.

It said Migros would be looking to reduce overcapacity and increase efficiency.

Profits at Migros were down 40 percent in 2017 despite the company posting record turnover.

The number one retailer in Switzerland ahead of Coop said the restructuring was less about cutting costs than about making funds available for future projects.

It also comes in response to the trend towards internet shopping and increased competition from international online retail businesses.

Migros was recently named most sustainable retailer in the world in a comparison of more than 150 companies, it reported earlier this month.


Swiss retail giant Migros slashes prices on 600 products

Faced with the competition from Aldi and Lidl, Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain is now cutting prices by at least 10 percent on several hundred products.

Swiss retail giant Migros slashes prices on 600 products
Hundreds ofMigros products will become cheaper this year. Photo by AFP

Three-quarters of the discounted items are from the food sector and the rest are other consumer items.

Their prices will be reduced before the end of the year.

“The new price discounts should convince people to think of Migros when they are planning their purchases”, the company spokesperson told Swiss media outlet 20 Minuten. 

Migros, which has over 1,000 stores in Switzerland, owns not just grocery shops, but also sports, electronics, and hardware stores, as well as a bank and adult education centres.

The behavioural economist Tilman Slembeck from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences said Migros is “under pressure to act” in order to compete with cheaper supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl.

“There is constant pressure from the discounters”, he said.

READ MORE: Switzerland ‘the most expensive in Europe’ for bread and meat 

In the end, consumers might be the winners in the price war.

For instance, red peppers now cost 3.30 francs per kilo instead of 3.80, the price of M-Classic butter waffles went down from 2.70 francs to 2.20, and the six-pack of 1.5-litre bottles of Aproz mineral water are 2.85 instead of 5.70.

You can see other price reductions here. 

The range of cheaper M-Budget products, aimed at those with low incomes, is being extended. But its price will not be lowered as it is already at hard-discount level.

Food and many other products sold in Switzerland are more expensive than comparable goods in the EU. 

A recent study from Eurostat database shows that there’s nowhere on the continent where bread is more expensive than in Switzerland, where its cost is 1.64 times higher than the European average. 

Milk, cheese and eggs cost around 1.4 times more than they do elsewhere in Europe.