In Switzerland, two mega-companies vie for the support and loyalty of every Swiss household: Coop and Migros. Established as the Union Suisse des Sociétés de Consommation (USC) in 1890, Coop has an undeniably long history in the land of the square red flag. However, I believe that Migros has an interesting and somewhat unusual story that is worth telling. In fact, I often share The Story of Migros on my tours with Free Walk Zurich. Today, I want to share it with you!
Almost a century ago, Zürich resident Gottlieb Duttweiler created a company that has had a far-reaching impact on the landscape of Swiss business and society: MIGROS. Duttweiler was passionate about giving all Swiss citizens equal access to opportunities to live a healthy, well-educated life. His first idea was to sell goods at cheaper prices and deliver those goods to the people.
So, out rolled the Migros vans in 1925, which carried basic supplies – such as coffee, rice, sugar, noodles, and soap – all throughout the villages surrounding Zurich. In addition to delivering necessities to more remote locations, Duttweiler realized that he could cut costs for consumers by eliminating the middleman from the supply chain. Migros prices dropped well below competitors – as much as 40%! When producers decided to boycott Migros in protest, Duttweiler launched his company into a journey of manufacturing its own brand of products. Nowadays, M-Industry, the industrial group of Migros, makes over 20,000 different products! Continue reading More than a Grocer: The Story of Migros