Swiss retail and business cooperative Migros Group has said that online sales across its operations were up by close to a third (+31.0%) to CHF 3 billion (€2.8 billion) in 2020, as the business sought to tackle the challenges of an 'extreme' year.
Online channels contributed more than 10% of the group's full-year sales for the first time, the group said.
Migros reported consolidated sales growth of 4% to CHF 29.8 billion (€27.7 billion), with retail sales up 7.2% to CHF 24.2 billion.
However, its travel, leisure and catering businesses suffered 'massive setbacks' – its HotelPlan travel business reported the worst annual results in its history, seeing net sales down 38.4%, or 57% on a comparable basis.
The group said that the streamlining of its portfolio, including the sale of the Globus department store chain and wholesale supplier Saviva, helped the business focus on its priorities during the year.
“Migros coped well with the extreme year," commented Fabrice Zumbrunne, president of the general management of the Federation of Migros Cooperatives.
"During this stressful time for many people, we were able to play a central role in caring for the Swiss population. This is thanks to the extraordinary commitment of our employees throughout the Migros Group. They were tirelessly and committedly there for our customers."
In retail, the group said that the coronavirus pandemic changed the shopping behaviour of its customers, shopping more at smaller, neighbourhood stores, which achieved double-digit growth. Customer frequency was down 8.9%, it added.
Regional and sustainable products also saw strong sales, with organic food sales up 15.6%, and products with an ecological or social 'added value' seeing sales up 7.4%.
The transfer of the online LeShop concept to Migros Online proved a successful move for the business, with Migros Online seeing sales rise by 40.0% to CHF 266 million, and deliver 43.6% more orders year-on-year.
Discounter Denner increased sales by 15.7%, it added, while its convenience/forecourt arm Migrolino was up 20.8%.
The group is also major producer of private label products for third-party clients via its M Industry arm, and while it said that its third-party business was affected by the pandemic, it saw supplies to businesses within the Migros cooperative increase, leading to a 1.8% growth in sales, to CHF 5.98 billion.
Migros will hold its annual press conference on 30 March 2021 in Zürich.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.