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Cross-border shoppers targeted by campaign

Retailers have joined forces with the gastronomy industry and regional chambers of commerce to persuade local shoppers to spend their money in Switzerland.

The Swiss Small and Medium Sized Business (SME) Association is coordinating a campaign against cross-border shopping that is estimated to have cost the Swiss economy up to SFr5 billion ($5.5 billion) last year.

The strong franc was responsible for driving more Swiss consumers over the borders in 2011 to take advantage of cheaper goods in euroland countries such as Germany, France and Italy.

The campaign, entitled “Yes to Switzerland – I want to shop here”, aims to attract Swiss shoppers back to local shops by appealing to people’s patriotism and the quality of homespun goods.

Taking money out of the local economy affects wages, costs jobs and could erode the quality of Swiss goods as well as investment in environmental improvements, the campaign is claiming.

Supermarket giants Coop and Migros, which both blamed the strong franc for deteriorating financial performances in 2011, have joined forces with the campaign. and agencies

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