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Why it might be cheaper to avoid the big supermarkets in Switzerland

The Local Switzerland
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Why it might be cheaper to avoid the big supermarkets in Switzerland
Shopping in small stores could be cheaper. Image by ELLE RITTER from Pixabay

If you are used to purchasing your groceries in big Swiss retail chains — and complain about prices there — you may want to consider another option.


Common logic has it that it is cheaper to shop in supermarkets than a local corner store, because big retailers purchase products in large quantities, which means lower prices for consumers.

However, according to an article in 20 Minuten, some local shops are “up to 30 percent cheaper than Migros and Coop.”

The news platform cites the example of two stores: Barkat in Zurich and Alima in Biel / Bienne.

At Alima, for instance, “we consistently buy all of our products from the most cost-effective suppliers.”

As for Barkat, its fruit and vegetables come from Holland, where they are cheaper than in Switzerland "because regionality doesn't play a big role for our customers."

Also, the store “doesn't add as much to the margin as other retailers," 20 Minuten reports.

Another reason for lower prices is that unlike major supermarkets, which ‘pretty up’ their stores for better  presentation of products, these small retailers are ‘no-frill’ shops. This means little money is invested in décor, so in the end these extra costs are passed on to consumers.


Does this mean all the ‘corner shops’ are cheaper than supermarkets?

No, but, as the article suggests, some are, so if you want to go that route, try to find ones in your area that operate according to the same principle as Barkat and Alima — that is, ones that purchase products from the most least expensive distributors and don’t add on large margins to final prices.

READ ALSO: Six essential tips that will save you money in Switzerland 


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