Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2005 (Revised February 2006)


by Forest L. Reinhardt, Vincent Marie Dessain and Anders Sjoman


In October 2005, Urs Riedener, head of marketing at Swiss retailer Migros, is contemplating the company's competitive position. Primarily a retailer for foods and near-foods products, the cooperative Migros, with close to 600 retail outlets in Switzerland (but only four outside its domestic market), is facing stiffer competition, both from existing competitors (such as Coop) and new arrivals (such as hard discounters Lidi and Aldi). Riedener and Migros management have so far always had faith in Migros' position in the marketplace, built around its governance structure (the customers were also the owners, creating a close link between the retailer and the market) and its emphasis on never selling harmful products. Socially, ecologically, and ethically produced products were key aspects of Migros' product offering. Riedener knows that Migros benefited from a unique position--and he wants to make sure that Migros defends it from both new and old competitors.

Keywords: Competitive Advantage; Corporate Governance; Corporate Strategy; Cooperative Ownership; Supply Chain Management; Product Marketing; Environmental Sustainability; Social Enterprise; Business or Company Management; Marketing Strategy; Retail Industry; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Switzerland;


Reinhardt, Forest L., Vincent Marie Dessain, and Anders Sjoman. "Migros." Harvard Business School Case 706-028, December 2005. (Revised February 2006.)