Research - 18.10.2012 - 00:00 

Trends in the Swiss retail trade

Researchers from the IRM-HSG have investigated the development of purchasing behaviour in foodstuffs, clothing, furniture, electronics and sports. They interviewed 2,000 consumers in Switzerland.


5 July 2011. More service for increasingly ageing customers, corporate social responsibility, and the internet as a distribution channel are the trends in the Swiss retail industry. This is revealed by a study of the Competence Centre for Retail Branding at the Institute of Retail Management of the University of St.Gallen (IRM-HSG). Prof. Dr. Thomas Rudolph and Maximilian Weber evaluated a survey carried out among 2,000 consumers in pedestrian precincts in German- and French-speaking Switzerland.

Brands and sustainable products popular

62% of interviewees said that they trusted the information provided on products. Brands play an important role for about 40% of the consumers interviewed. With regard to foodstuffs and textiles, more than half the interviewees said that they relied on proprietary brands. More than 60% of consumers said that they supported local providers when purchasing foodstuffs. According to the survey, they are also prepared to pay a higher price for environment-friendly products and to choose providers for whom social values are important. The study also shows that consumers over 60 years of age make increasingly high demands on dealers’ services, with the price of products being a secondary consideration.

Escalating product ranges a cause of consumer resistance
As the survey demonstrates, escalating product ranges often cause consumer resistance. Nearly 30% of consumers say for all the industries concerned that they cannot always find what they are actually looking for. In times of increasingly fierce price competition, there is also a growing danger that the floods of offers cause confusion. As a consequence, customers consider prices to be unfair. Thus one in four customers of sports and clothing shops is of the opinion that the prices in the retail outlets are unfair.

Copyright: / pip

Discover our special topics