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Retail tourism Crossborder shopping costs Swiss retailers CHF9 billion

Shoppers in Konstanz

Rain or shine, Konstanz, just across the German border, is popular with Swiss shoppers


Swiss shoppers who drive over the border to stock up cost the Swiss retail industry CHF9.1 billion ($9.2 billion) this year, according to researchers at the University of St Gallen. 

This is almost 10% more than the figure for 2015, said the studyexternal link, which looked at five heavily affected sectors: food, pharmacy, clothes, sport and household appliances. 

It found that although fewer Swiss were engaging in “shopping tourism”, the average shopping basket was getting bigger. What’s more, not only were older people developing a taste for shopping abroad, but a person’s income was not a factor in their shopping behaviour. 

Swiss who lived in cantons near the border were unsurprisingly more likely to shop abroad – more than half said they did so regularly. Pharmacy products were in particular demand. 

Internet shopping had also gained in popularity. Compared with 2015, the share of people who placed online orders with foreign companies had increased from 30% to 37%. On average a quarter of the products bought in the five analysed sectors were bought online, with clothes and sports equipment particularly popular.

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