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Shops profit from upbeat consumers

Retail sales in Switzerland grew faster in 2007 than they have for many years, with turnover rising by 3.6 per cent.

This content was published on June 26, 2008 - 10:51

Purchases of non-food items drove the increase and some market sectors recorded double-digit growth, said marketing research firm IHA-GfK on Thursday.

It said the non-food sector had increased its share of total retail turnover to 48 per cent from 40 per cent since 1990.

The positive results were reflected in the decision by different branches to expand their network of shops, in particular clothing and shoe companies, as well as chemists.

Switzerland's second largest retailer, Coop, clearly outpaced the nation's number one, Migros, in 2007, increasing turnover by nearly five per cent compared with only one per cent for the latter.

Last year was also marked by further consolidation in the retail sector, with buyouts of three large retailers.

Over the past ten years, the 20 largest retailers have increased their market share from 45 to 54 per cent.

Despite ongoing debates about the high price of goods in Switzerland, IHA-GfK found that most Swiss do not know the price of staple goods. The research company's latest survey revealed that less than one in three Swiss knew the price of a litre of milk, compared with nearly two out of three ten years ago.

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