Supporters say Migros ditched the alcohol ban long ago — with the purchase of a diner. This leaves opponents cold.
The decision will be made on Saturday. Migros co-operative delegates then vote on whether Migros should sell alcohol in the future.
Mario Bonorand doesn’t think that’s a good idea at all. He knows Migros well, was once its chief financial officer, ran the Globus store chain, and was president of the Denner Company. Alcohol on the shelf of Migros? “That would be a contradiction,” Bonorand says. Especially as Migros keeps communicating with the outside world how important the health of the population is – and underscores this with their off-the-shelf fitness and healthy nutrition offerings.
Migros was eating diner.
Bonorand also cites economic reasons speaking against the wine and beer on the Migros shelf. “I’m convinced this would break up your denier, your daughter.” Moreover, Denner stores are often rented out on Migros properties.
Other critics point to Migros founder Gottlieb Duttweiler: if Migros sold alcohol, it would be a betrayal of Duttweiler.
What does this mean for alcoholics?
The Blue Cross, which supports alcoholics in the fight against their addiction, speaks of “devastating dangers for those at risk,” if Migros sells alcohol in the future. Limited availability reduces consumption and therefore the risk of unhealthy or even harmful alcohol consumption, the organization wrote in a statement. The positive impact of the sales exemption offered by Migros founder Gottlieb Dettweiler is clear. And: “The Blue Cross’s diverse experience confirms that it is particularly important for people at risk of excessive alcohol consumption not to be tempted by daily shopping.”
A weak argument, believes Stéphane Michel, professor of marketing at the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne. “Anyone who summons Gottlieb Duttweiler now will have to come forward tomorrow for a ban on alcohol everywhere, in other words: one would have to give up Denner and not sell alcohol through other Migros channels, such as the Internet or at Migrolino.”
Maybe wine and beer only available in certain areas
Even if the majority of Migros Co-op delegates spoke out in favor of selling alcohol on Saturday, it would still be more than a year before it was that far away in the first branches.
In the next step, the majority of the departments and cooperative boards of the 10 regional Migros cooperatives will have to speak up in favor of innovation.
Those cooperatives that voted in favor of the statute change must then take a ballot.
In fact, alcohol will hit the shelves in 2023 at the earliest – and only in the branches of those regional cooperatives whose members speak in favor of lifting the ban on the sale of alcohol by a two-thirds majority. So it is possible that branches of the Lucerne Cooperative will sell wine in the future, but the branches of the Eastern Swiss Cooperative will not.
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