Currently, the Swiss supermarket Migros does not sell alcoholic drinks in its stores. Gottlieb Duttweiler, the retailer’s founder, instituted the policy to promote public health when the company was started in 1925.
However, this autumn, the management of the cooperative is planning to vote on whether to allow alcohol on to the the company’s shelves for the first time, according to watson.ch and Le Matin Dimanche.
Migros’ no-alcohol rule is already fraying at the seams. It is possible to buy alcohol via the supermarket’s online store Le Shop. In addition, Migros owns Denner, and alcohol is one of the mainstay of this business.
Other brands under the Migros umbrella, such as Migrolino and Voi, also sell alcohol.
However, adding alcohol to the selves at Migros’ main supermarket stores is not as simple as it would be for most companies. The ban on selling alcohol is in the company’s constitution and the retailer is structured as a cooperative. This means the more than 2 million members of the cooperative must be involved in any decision made by the management to change the company’s constitution.
Anyone living in Switzerland or in a neighbouring country within a reasonable distance of a Migros supermarket can become a member. Every new member is issued a share in the company, which comes with a single vote.
Direct democracy runs deep in Switzerland.