Migros is far and away Switzerland's leading retailer, as well as one of its biggest advertisers. The group dominates the local market, selling almost a quarter of the country's food through its chain of 726 Migros and Denner supermarkets. Until 2020 it also owned Swiss department store chain Globus (sold that year to Central Group, also owners of La Rinascente of Italy and Germany's KaDeWe). In addition Migros owns restaurants, travel companies, fitness and medical centres, a bank and two newspapers, and is Switzerland's biggest employer as well as its foremost sponsor of cultural events. For more than 60 years until 1999 it even controlled one of the country's leading political parties. It has been said that Migros has been as influential in Switzerland as General Motors, Exxon, Ford, IBM and Coca-Cola combined in the US. With sales of just under CHF 30bn (around €28bn) in 2020 it is one of the world's top retailers. Yet it is virtually unknown outside Switzerland - Migros of Turkey, originally a joint venture, has been an entirely separate company since 1975, and Migros Switzerland has only a limited direct presence outside its home market. Its most significant international operation is German supermarket chain Tegut, acquired in 2012, although many of its own-label products are exported to other neighbouring countries. Key brands include M-Budget, Frey and Anna's Best. Migros was founded in 1925 by Gottlieb Duttweiler, regarded as one of the heroes of the Swiss retail industry, not least because of his selfless decision to convert his growing privately owned business into a public cooperative in the 1940s. Migros is still jointly owned by its members, who include more than a quarter of the country's entire population. Fabrice Zumbrunnen succeeded Herbert Bolliger in 2018 as CEO of the central federation organising body. The company reinvests the majority of profits back into the business or in the wider community. Its main domestic rival is another co-operative, Coop Schweiz, whose revenues are less than half those of Migros.
Capsule checked 17th August 2021
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Adbrands Daily Update 20th Nov 2018: "Mimi the Owl". We've always got space for one more Christmas ad, especially if it has an owl in it. Migros is Switzerland's biggest retailer, a local behemoth that has played a dominant role in the country's culture for almost a century. It's said that Migros has been as influential in Switzerland as General Motors, Exxon, Ford, IBM and Coca-Cola combined in the US. For the past couple of years its Christmas ads have featured animated elfin creatures who supposedly live inside the store's checkout tills, like Mary Norton's Borrowers turned into cashiers. Lead agency Wirz has taken a different tack this year with an adorable live action film that features a baby owl. She's no less animated than those checkout elves, no doubt, though the quality of the CG might lead you to believe otherwise. Totally adorable of course, too.
Adbrands Social Media 22nd Nov 2018: "A Big Wish". This time last year, you might remember, Swiss agency Wirz and animation kings Passion Pictures introduced us to Finn, the tiny chap who provides the 'beep' for the checkout scanners at local retail giant Migros. He's back again this year - interesting to note how many retailers are reprising the seasonal characters from 2017 - with a new quest to find his missing family. Once again, Passion knocks it out of the park with a gorgeous, seamless blend of live action and CGI. It definitely helps if you remember last year's ad, but even if you don't it's an adorable story, which is bound to bring a tear of joy to your eye by the end.
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd November 2017: Ads of the Week: "Who's in the Checkout?". Last week, while in full Scrooge mode, we said that would be it from us for seasonal ads. Well, for one thing it turns out there just aren't many ads around that *aren't* Christmas-themed this week; and also, some of the last holiday stragglers are actually really rather good. For example, it's hard to resist this adorable animation from Swiss retail giant Migros, created by local BBDO-affiliate Wirz and Passion Animation Studios. Have you ever wondered how supermarket scanners work? They're not quite as advanced as you thought.
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