French discount chain Stockomani expands to Switzerland
After Action revealed it would be expanding to Switzerland in the near future, it seems as though a number of budget retailers have been bitten by the alpine bug. Now, French discounter Stokomani has thrown its hat into the ring, opening its first store in the country this week.
Stockomani opens its first store in Switzerland
Founded in 1961 by Maurice Namani, Stockomani is a French discounter specialising in clearances - a relatively rare phenomenon for Switzerland. Unlike more traditional stores and supermarkets, Stockomani takes the leftover stock from major brands and wholesalers and tries to sell them for an extremely cut price. Items can range from fashion, accessories, healthcare and beauty products to homeware, interior design, toys and even leisure gadgets.
With stocks varying depending on what’s available, it can be a lottery regarding what is on the shelves - Blick explained that the closest Swiss version of Stockomani is Otto’s. However, the one certainty is the low price, with the newspaper noting that some items in their French stores can be discounted by up to 70 percent. The company is one of the largest off-price stores in France, boasting 145 branches and 3.200 workers.
However, it may be some time before the residents of Swiss cities will be able to pop into Stockomani, with the discounter opening its first store near Sion in Conthey, Canton Valais, on November 8. Given that it is based in France, it is likely that if the store proves a success, more Stockomani branches will be rolled out to locations in Lausanne and Geneva first before moving across the Röstigraben.
Concerns raised over the viability of discount supermarkets in Switzerland
However, questions remain about whether a discount chain is viable in Switzerland. Commenting when Action announced it was moving to Switzerland, retail expert Marcel Stoffel argued that budget brands are “almost economically impossible” in the alpine nation due to higher salaries and rental costs.
Nevertheless, Blick noted that Stockomani’s arrival on the market comes as many people in the alpine continue to struggle with the higher cost of living. With the company already having experience in Switzerland - owning the 20 Maxi Bazars dotted across the country - the newspaper concluded that “the hour has come for the discounters.”
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