Migros’ vote on the sale of alcoholic beverages moves in Switzerland. The focus is on sales growth and addictive behavior. Pros and cons vary about the effect on the retailer’s image.
So far, I’ve searched in vain for beer and wine on the shelves of Migros. However, this nearly hundred-year-old tradition may soon come to an end. By June 4, the 2.3 million members of the co-op will vote on whether Migros should sell alcohol in the future.
“The ban is no longer up to date,” said Renata George, a member of the board of the cooperative Migros in Zurich, in the “Arena” on Friday evening.
Guests in the “Ring”
On the professional side:
- Renata George, initiator and member of the Migros Cooperative Zurich
- Niccolo Paganini, National Counsellor Die Mitte/SG and management member of Migros Ostschweiz
- Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Young Liberals
On the opposite side, the following oppose the sale of alcohol:
- Lillian Studer, President EVP, and former General Manager Blaues Kreuz Aargau/Lucerne
- Ole Meader, Professor Emeritus of Sociology
- Stefan Vogler is a lecturer at the Zurich School of Economics and an independent consultant
Run by Sandro Prutz.
George participated in the alcohol vote and thus the debate began. She wants to adapt Migros’ laws to reality. “You can’t say you don’t sell alcohol and at the same time you are the second largest seller of alcohol.”
After all, Migros Group already sells alcohol, for example in Denner branches or on the Internet. Lifting the ban is necessary to maintain credibility.
Migros can jeopardize her image
For litigants, the core value of Migros’ identity and thus the legacy of Migros founder Gottlieb Dettweiler is at risk. “When the Migros brand is looked at, the ban on the sale of alcohol ranks first,” said branding expert Stefan Vogler. As a result, Migros enjoys great sympathy throughout Switzerland.
Selling alcohol corresponds to the customer’s need.
Vogler said the retailer is putting that reputation at risk by selling alcohol. “It could at least be the beginning of Dottie’s values that are no longer lived.”
But Niccolo Paganini, a member of the Migros department in eastern Switzerland, said selling alcohol was in line with customers’ needs. “Customers should be able to get everything in the same store.” Additional sales in turn lead to greater social commitment and investments in the customer experience, in range and in stores.
Ole Meader, professor emeritus of sociology, disagreed with this view. You have long sought the freedom to remain anonymous. Today, consumers are looking for something personal. “Everything is the same everywhere and a bit lackluster, and the performances pile up, which is why entrepreneurial thinking that celebrates differences is required.”
In addition, freedom also has an element of responsibility, Mader said. Migros can now send an important signal that “health is more important than sales”.
Preventing alcohol or promoting addiction treatment?
Matthias Müller, president of Jungfreisinnigen, questioned whether banning alcoholic beverages for Migros could have a significant impact on alcoholism and instead came up with a marketing idea.
Instead of talking about bans, the retailer should invest in one percent alcohol. For example, a portion of the income from the sale of alcohol can flow directly into addiction treatment and prevention work. Society as a whole will benefit from this and Migros, in turn, will stand out from the competition.
It’s important to have alcohol-free places like this one.
This is not enough for opponents. Lillian Studer, president of the EPP, said Migros provides a protected way for people with alcoholics and at risk of addiction to shop without temptation.
Those affected will appreciate this framework, former Blue Cross Aargau/Lucerne general manager knows. “It is important that there are such places that are free of alcohol.”
Duttweiler’s credo was “We put people resolutely at the center of our thinking.” Renata George said Migros is primarily open to opinions. The administration will carry out what the members of the cooperative decide at the ballot box. So the poll is entirely done in the spirit of Dottie.
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