Supermarket chain Migros boycotts Nivea products

Swiss supermarket Migros is boycotting certain Nivea products to protest the high prices it has to pay in comparison with other retailers abroad.

Supermarket chain Migros boycotts Nivea products
Migros boycotts boycott concerns 19 shampoos and conditioners from Nivea. Photo: Depositphotos/photogearch

The boycott concerns 19 shampoos and conditioners from Nivea. The products that the retailer still has in stock are currently being offered with a price reduction of 50 percent and the sale lasts until May 11th.

In a tweet, the retailer wrote: “The internationally operational Beiersdorf AG demands from us purchase prices which are sometimes well above the sales price abroad. That's why we currently have a stop on orders and a 50 percent sale on Nivea haircare products. We are committed to fair prices.

Migros has discounted Nivea Shampoo and conditioner as it negotiates for cheaper wholesale prices. Photo: Twitter

Migros argues that the German Nivea owner Beiersdorf demands purchase prices that are too high and unfair, as they are well above the selling price in Germany.

Migros believes there are two ways in which Nivea products can get back on the shelves: through successful negotiations with Beiersdorf or by finding alternative sellers of the same products. 

Read also: Switzerland's Migros launches second 'no frills' hotel room  

Negotiations are still ongoing, but it is unclear when the two parties will find a solution. Michael Stadler, a strategy lecturer at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), told news site 20 Minutes that he expects a negotiation period to last weeks.  

The pressure of a Swiss retailer on an international group like Beiersdorf is relatively small. Although margins are high in Switzerland, the country is too small for the Migros boycott Beiersdorf to cause any significant damage. 

Nevertheless, past experience has shown that Swiss boycotts can certainly bring about price cuts. In 2011, Coop and Migros removed L'Oréal products from their shelves until a price reduction of around 10 percent was negotiated.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


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.