Dutch budget supermarket Action to expand to Switzerland

Dutch budget supermarket Action to expand to Switzerland

When you shop at supermarkets in Switzerland, it can often feel like the phrase “cheap and cheerful” hasn’t made it past the border just yet. Now, one budget supermarket from the Netherlands, Action, hopes to change that by opening its first store in the alpine nation.

Dutch supermarket registers subsidiary in Switzerland

According to ZüriToday, Swiss shoppers will be given a brand-new budget supermarket to choose from in the near future. Action confirmed that it had started a new company in Switzerland, filing the application in Basel on October 11 with the aim of opening its stores across the country.

Founded by Gerard Deen and Rob Wagemaker in Enkhuizen in 1993, Action specialises in offering products and long-life food at bargain basement prices. According to the Swiss newspaper Handelsblatt, 1.500 of the 6.000 products offered in its 2.350 stores across Europe cost less than a euro. 

Action likely to become the cheapest shop in Switzerland

If Action carries on this pricing structure in Swiss cantons, the discounter will become the cheapest place to shop in Switzerland. Their main competition would come from German retailers Aldi and Lidl, as well as Otto’s. 

However, some have questioned how the international company would be able to maintain its low prices considering the higher cost of retail space and salaries. Retail expert Marcel Stoffel told 20 Minuten that budget stores have a hard time in Switzerland as higher wages and rental costs make one-franc prices "almost economically impossible.” “The textile discounter Primark wouldn’t work here either”, he added. 

Nevertheless, in a statement given to ZüriToday, Action confirmed that their first store will be in Basel. While they did not confirm a timetable, they assured that they are “interested in expanding our business in Switzerland in due course."

Thumb image credit: defotoberg /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

Read more



Leave a comment