On the 7.of March, Aldi opens its 200th branch in Switzerland in Lugano. It took about 15 years for the discounter to get to that number. Aldi started preparing for market entry in mid-2004, and in autumn 2005 the first four stores were opened. At the time, nobody was able to estimate just how much potential the Swiss market had. In the first few years, the company belonging to the Aldi-Süd Group was able to disclose an expansion target.
Rapid expansion pace
But the store network grew fast: In 2007 Aldi Suisse already opened its 50th store and in 2009 the 100 mark was exceeded. Although the pace of expansion dropped noticeably, the 200th store will not be the last. For its 10-year anniversary, it was said that Switzerland has a potential of up to 300 stores.
With 200 shops, Aldi is already one of the biggest in Switzerland. For comparison, there are around 700 Migros branches and around 900 Coop shops. In addition, there are numerous branches of other store formats of the two major distributors Migrolino and Coop Pronto. Even the Denner discounter, which belongs to the Migros Group, has more than 500 shops and a few hundred stores run by franchise partners.
No official sales
On the other hand, Aldi has overtaken the Spar Group, which operates or supplies almost 190 shops in Switzerland. Also, compared to German discounter Lidl, that only entered the Swiss market in 2009 and currently has just over 120 stores, Aldi is right at the top.
Sales figures are not given
Market research institute GFK estimated the Aldi Suisse turnover for 2017 to be 1.9 billion francs. Last year it will have increased thanks to the opening of additional stores.
To what extent the German discounters Aldi and Lidl, whose first stores were opened in 2009, have changed the Swiss landscape with their market entry, remains a question. Budget lines M-Budget and Prix Garantie, with which Migros and Coop responded to the new competition, still exist. In addition, there is certainly a certain price pressure in the industry.
On the other hand, Aldi and Lidl have adapted quite well to Swiss customs. The shops are customer friendly, clean and tidy - which is by no means always the case with discounters in other countries. And the two suppliers from Germany also heavily rely on the 'Swissness' factor, be it in the range design or in the endeavor to strive for a good public perception.
Source: Blick.ch / Aldi Switzerland