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Why You Should Shop at Migros Supermarkets in Switzerland

Migros is for Switzerland like Walmart is for the US. It's big retail and supermarket chain that has branches in almost every city and town. If you want to buy groceries or other basic necessities then Migros is usually the right place. But it hasn't always been like that...

History of Migros Supermarket

Migros was founded by Gottlieb Duttweiler. His idea was to sell his products directly to the consumer, avoiding any intermediary trade. This way he was able to sell basic goods like rice, sugar and coffee over 40% cheaper than the competition. Duttweiler was also involved in politics where he pursued social justice and a 'human capitalism'.

In 1925 Duttweiler started selling groceries in five Ford trucks. One year later he opened the first store in Zurich. During the next few years Migros branches open all over Switzerland: St. Gallen (1929), Bern, Lucerne and Basel (1930). During the same years, Duttweiler starts producing the first Migros products: apple cider, laundry detergent and more. In 1935 Migros even opened its own travel agency called 'Hotelplan'.

However, the success of Migros was not appreciated everywhere and Migros was boycotted and even outlawed in several places because it was accused of dumping prices. The boycotts were one of the main reasons Duttweiler and Migros increased the variety of products they produced themselves. It provided them with goods to sell in the stores and trucks.

Despite the resistance, the Migros company kept growing and expanding, adding more and more branches and departments. Migros restaurants or Melectronics are just two of the many divisions that now form part of Migros.

What I like about Migros

Migros has been part of my childhood. In the village I grew up there was a small supermarket with Migros products (a franchise) and I remember going there to buy sweets with my pocket money. In Swiss German we call this "chrömle". Needless to say that I still shop at Migros regularly.

There is one thing about Migros that I find particularly interesting. Migros does not sell alcohol or tobacco products. This no alcohol and tobacco policy was put in place because Duttweilers firmly believed that the sale of those health damaging products should not be supported through cheap prices. 

One thing I really like about Migros today, is their M-budget line of low priced products. These products all come in the same green and white packaging design which saves the company a great deal of money because it doesn't have to redesign a new product. In the beginning, M-Budget included the basic groceries such as pasta, rice and canned goods, but now also mobile phone subscriptions, snowboards or vacuum cleaners can be bought as M-budget at a low price.  





Source:
History of Migros, migros.ch


© 2011 IRENE WYRSCH "A HUMOROUS GUIDE TO SWITZERLAND" ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

LAST UPDATED: FEBRUARY 2019

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