It was the last time that he took stock in front of media representatives. And showed how well Coop did last year despite Corona. After more than ten years at the top, Joos Sutter (56) will take over the presidency of the Coop board of directors in the spring. He is proud of the “very stable” profit, his company is financially on a “strong foundation”. The number of employees grew by 305 to a total of 90,825 people. The Graubünden company promises that customers will continue to benefit from the success of the Basel retailer.
BLICK: Mr. Sutter, you achieved a strong plus in your core business with the supermarkets. Is it just the alcohol in the range, which was bought above average during the Corona crisis?
Joos Sutter: No, it’s not the alcohol (laughs). Our investments before the Corona crisis are now paying off. We are winning in all areas, especially thanks to the expansion of the range with fresh products. In addition, we now have 157 out of 940 sales outlets – our stores are closer to the people than any other retailer in Switzerland – geared towards the new, modern concept. The se branches exude a marketplace feeling. It’s fun to shop there.
In any case, you have left Migros, which does not sell alcohol, behind when it comes to sales. The orange giant is considered cheaper compared to Coop.
In fact, this is no longer the case today. We recently added 420 items to our low price line, Prix Garantie. We have a range of 1300 products that can keep up with the prices of discounters.
The competition is currently heating up with price cuts. Migros has made over 700 products permanently cheaper in the last few months. How much did you cut prices last year?
Last year we also made 1000 products cheaper. We have invested 145 million francs in the lower prices. And in the new year we have already made another 250 price reductions.
Despite the corona crisis, your supermarkets have sold extremely well.
We will of course continue to pursue the strategy of price reductions that has been anchored at Coop for many years.
Joos Sutter (56) has been the Coop boss since 2011. The Graubünden economist from the HSG had previously spent 15 years at the retailer, most recently as Head of Trading. This includes the Coop City department stores and specialist markets. He lives in the canton of Bern with his wife and three sons. His hobbies: snowboarding, the old Moto Guzzi or fishing.
As an organic pioneer, doesn’t it annoy you that Aldi and Lidl are adding more and more good quality organic goods to their range? And also cheap?
Everyone should put their range together in the way they think they will be successful. We were able to increase our sales of organic products to over two billion francs. We remain the clear market leader.
The crazy Corona year was your last on the top post. Is your successor equipped to promote Coop, especially in the online area?
We are well positioned here. Coop.ch posted strong growth of over 45 percent in 2020. And I am convinced that my successor and previous Vice President, Philipp Wyss, will continue to do this successfully.
The Coop Group held up well in the Corona year 2020. The core business with supermarkets in particular grew strongly by over 14 percent. The turnover here: 12 billion francs. In this area, Migros “only” managed an increase of 7.4 percent. Coop is still missing half a billion francs to catch up with its rival in its core business. Coop also increases profit to 539 million francs. That is an increase of 8 million over the previous year. Migros’ profit is not yet known.
[ source link ]
Coop CEO Joos Sutter announces price cuts supermarkets