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Spending abroad Cross-border Christmas shopping

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More Swiss are shopping abroad, whether it’s over the border or online. While shops in Germany and Austria are happy, it’s leaving a gap back home. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

27,000 customers visit the Lago shopping centre in Constance everyday. Every third visitor comes from Switzerland. During the holiday season Swiss make up half of the customers. The Lago has been awarded the most profitable shopping centre in Germany three times since its opening. 

But with Swiss going over the border in search of cheaper options, shops back home are suffering. In Kreuzlingen in canton Thurgau for instance, the euro has serious consequences for shop owners. And the situation could become worse as three new shopping centres are planned along the German Swiss border. And on the Austrian border four new centres will open in the coming years.

One of them will be in Bregenz. By autumn 2017 its open-air car park will be turned into a new city area with 14,000 square metres of shops and restaurants. And again Swiss customers are among the main targets. But will more shopping centres actually bring more Swiss customers? The centre's operators in Constance fear fierce competition.