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Retail

Swiss Retailer Migros Puts Department Stores Up For Sale

Migros, Switzerland's second-biggest retailer, wants to sell off its Globus department stores and Depot and Interio home furnishings businesses to focus more on core operations and online commerce, the cooperative company said on Thursday.

The company is also looking for new owners for its m-way electric bicycle business, it said after concluding there were few overlaps with its food retail operations.

Retailers in Switzerland have struggled in recent years, with the strong Swiss franc encouraging shoppers to cross the border into neighbouring Germany and France for their purchases. Economists expect tough conditions to continue in 2019.

"Our extensive analysis has shown that these businesses have better chances of success outside of the Migros Group," chief executive Fabrice Zumbrunnen said in a statement.

Focus On Supermarkets

Migros said it wanted to focus on supermarkets as well as expanding its convenience stores, digital sales channels and health operations.

Although Migros sales have held up in recent years, profitability has shrunk, with net profit plunging from CHF 826 million (€744.28 million) in 2014 to CHF 475 million (€428.01) last year.

Revenues at Globus, the group's up-market department store, fell by 5.7% last year to CHF 808 million (€728.06 milliom), while Depot sales grew 2.5% to CHF 554 million (€499.19 million). This contrasted with a 14.2% jump in sales at Migros's online retailer Galaxus last year.

M-way had 2018 sales of CHF40 million (€36 million).

Migros said it would take some time for the sale process to progress and that no significant changes for staff or customers were expected in the meantime.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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