The head of Switzerland’s largest retailer, Migros, has taken German hard discounters to task, arguing that they will bring economic problems to the country.
Herbert Bolliger told the Sonntag newspaper that price cutting in Germany was spilling over into Switzerland with negative results.
“The owners of Aldi and Lidl get richer and richer and put pressure on prices at the cost of producers and employees,” he said.
“The economic damage is enormous and the brutal price war is destroying people’s existences.” As a result, the tax payer would have to foot the bill for the unemployed and those receiving social benefit.
Bolliger said that because of the pressure from abroad, it had no other choice than to lower prices too.
He said Migros' turnover for 2009 would stagnate at the level of the previous year (SFr25.75 billion or $24.86 billion).
Bolliger said that although the number of goods sold was higher than in 2008, prices were on average much cheaper this year.
Migros is Switzerland’s largest employer, with a staff of about 84,000.
swissinfo.ch and agencies