It is obvious that Denner’s sales are at risk if Migros also sells alcohol – “especially in the approximately 200 branches that are next to a Migros”.
Denner has acquired a great deal of know-how in the wine trade over the last 50 years.
How the sale of alcohol will continue is unclear because of Migros.
Denner closed its 2021 financial year with a 1.3 percent increase in sales.
Mario Irminger, who has been Denner’s boss for ten years, spoke in an interview about the possible future sale of alcohol in Migros and the consequences of the corona pandemic on the business. “We welcome the fact that this decision is made in a grassroots democratic process,” says Irminger on alcohol sales at Migros. “Where else can you find that?” he asks in an interview with the newspapers from “CH Media”.
Selling alcohol at Migros endangers sales at Denner
Selling alcohol to a competitor would have “not only negative consequences” for Denner. Denner has developed a great deal of know-how in the demanding wine trade over the past 50 years, says Irminger. From an overall perspective, the question arises as to how the Migros Group can integrate Denner. You have to check to what extent Denner’s expertise in this business is useful for the group. However, it is obvious that sales are at risk – “especially in the 200 or so branches that are next to a Migros”.
However, Denner closed the 2021 financial year well. The company achieved net sales of around 3.8 billion Swiss francs. In a declining overall market, a sales increase of 1.3 percent was achieved, as the company reports. The chain stores also grew by more than two percent. According to Denner, the growth can be attributed to the expanded range of fresh produce and the dense branch network.
Omikron could lead to branch closures
Irminger also commented on the corona pandemic in an interview. Because of the Omikron wave, Denner has not yet had to close any branches. Of the approximately 6,000 employees, around 100 are currently at home because of Corona. Twice as many are out of action because of normal flu or because of a cold. If the Omicron wave intensified, Denner would first reduce opening hours and then possibly also close branches. But he doesn’t expect it to go that far, says Irminger.
Despite the pandemic, customers continue to shop at Denner. That happened “more regularly” last year, according to the annual figures. The customer frequency has therefore increased by 2.3 percent. However, the average purchase was lower. Denner created over 300 new jobs in the year under review. According to the company, 128 apprentices are offered an apprenticeship.
Denner raises minimum wage
Denner raised the minimum wage to CHF 4,200. For comparison: Aldi Suisse pays CHF 4,600 per month, the highest minimum wage in the Swiss retail sector. The wage bill at Denner rose by one percent last year. The company also extended parental leave by ten working days each to 18 weeks maternity leave and four weeks paternity leave. According to the press release, all employees received an “individual and performance-related special bonus”.
UBS forecast an effective wage increase of 0.5 percent for the retail trade in 2022. One of the main reasons for this low forecast is inflation. The UBS economists predicted an average increase of 0.4 percent for 2022 throughout Switzerland and in all sectors.
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