The cost of the euro has plunged, making cross border shopping much more attractive for the Swiss. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
The Swiss National Bank stunned markets on January 15 by scrapping policy preventing the Swiss franc from appreciating beyond CHF1.20 to the euro. At one point that day, the euro value had fallen to just 0.85 francs.
The Swiss were quick to realise that they could suddenly get a lot more for their money in neighbouring France and Germany. What ensued was a shopping frenzy in German and French towns close to Swiss borders.
At one point there was a 2km long queue of cars at Konstanz on the German/Swiss border. The new tram service from Basel to Weil am Rhein in Germany was packed. Shops in Ferney-Voltaire, just over the Swiss/French border close to Geneva, were also doing well.
But many Swiss cashpoints ran out of euros, forcing shoppers to change their money in German shops, or use cards.