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Swiss consumers planning to spend more locally for Christmas

The Deloitte Swiss Christmas Retail Survey 2012

Zurich, 3 of December 2012

Deloitte, the professional services firm, has evaluated Swiss consumer’s sentiment towards Christmas spending 2012. And it is good news for Swiss retailers, with consumers slightly more optimistic about the Swiss economy than last year, and planning to spend 4.3% more per household at CHF 996.

Swiss consumers view the current and expected state of the Swiss economy more optimistically than last year: The 2012 Swiss Christmas Retail Survey shows only a third of Swiss consumers are pessimistic about the current state of the Swiss economy, compared to more than 50% last year. Even though short-term uncertainty is having an effect on the consumer’s sentiments, the average Swiss consumer polled is expecting to expand their Christmas budget to 996 CHF, higher than the estimated 2011 actual spend of 955 CHF. Consumer sentiment in Switzerland is significantly more positive than the European average.

Nr.1 priority – lower prices

In September 2012, the Swiss Price Supervisor compared selected strong brands in Switzerland and attested that retail prices have been lowered since last year. In the Deloitte survey, Swiss consumers ranked lower prices as their top priority to improve their shopping experience in 2012, compared to ranking third in 2011. The positive response from Swiss retailers on prices appears to be bearing fruit: Only 48% - compared to last year’s 56% - of Swiss customers plan to make a portion of their Christmas purchases in Euros. However, nearly half of the customers buying outside of Switzerland are planning to spend more than a quarter of their Christmas budget with foreign retailers.

Traditional stores are still first choice

The majority of consumers use the Internet to search or compare goods: 65% of purchases are digitally influenced. Search engines, online shops, websites of brands and newsletters – all appear to be equally important in the complex decision making process. When it comes to actually buying products, traditional stores are still the preferred channel to buy food, beauty products, fashion, toys and more. But up to 47% of customers plan to order online products like books, video games, music and movies that get delivered free of charge.

“Smart” mobile phone shopping on the rise

A trend on the rise is mobile shopping. 24% of Swiss consumers are already using mobile phones for purchases and 39% plan to do so in the future. Mobile applications provide a unique opportunity to merge online and offline shopping – large scale uptake of smart phones, camera functionality and GPS set the basis for a wide range of uses of mobile phones to enrich the customer’s shopping experiences. “We expect to see an increase in smart phone applications over the next twelve months to bring together these different features. Swiss retailers will need to pick carefully how they embrace these developments to maximise the opportunities while avoiding the pitfalls that new technologies can often bring,” explains Howard da Silva, Consumer Business Leader of Deloitte in Switzerland.

About the Swiss Christmas Retail Survey

The Deloitte Swiss Christmas Retail Survey is based on information collected on the internet in 18 countries in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and South Africa, with a structure questionnaire for a sample of individuals aged between 18 to 64, within controlled panels. The sample size was 18’587 consumers out of which 762 were surveyed in Switzerland. Please find the full survey ready for download here.

About Deloitte in Switzerland

Deloitte AG is a leading accounting and consulting company in Switzerland and provides industry-specific services in the areas of audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance. With approximately 1,100 employees at six locations in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich (headquarters) Deloitte serves companies and institutions of all legal forms and sizes in all industry sectors. Deloitte AG is a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). DTTL member firms comprise of approximately 200,000 employees in more than 150 countries around the world.

Note to editors

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte AG, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP, which is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (‘DTT’), a Swiss Verein, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see\about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTT and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries are leading business advisers, providing audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance services through more than 12,000 exceptional people across the UK and Switzerland. Known as an employer of choice for innovative human resources programmes, it is dedicated to helping its clients and people excel.

Deloitte AG is recognised by the Federal Audit Oversight Authority and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.


Howard da Silva
Consumer Business Industry Leader
Job Title:
+41 (0)58 279 62 05
Marisa Steiner
PR & Communications
Job Title:
+41 58 279 73 08
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