Shopping spending of cross-border workers, visitors

Shopping spending of cross-border workers, visitors

18 April 2019

New study showed that Geneva residents spend more in shopping than French people on cross-border trips. It was the first ever survey conducted on consumers’ spending habits in the Greater Geneva Region.

Swiss more spendthrift

The spending practices of consumers in the Greater Geneva Region were subject to survey for first time ever. The study showed that French residents are not spending so much money during shopping trips to Switzerland as Swiss resident on cross-border shopping sprees in France. Swiss spend annually CHF416 million in France whereas French pay annually for shopping in Switzerland CHF148 million. The difference is astonishingly big. The total annual turnover in the Greater Geneva Region amounts to CHF7 billion.

Cross-border visitors

Many French residents are cross-border workers and make trips for shopping across the border. The same applies to Swiss people, who frequently visit France. According to the survey, 25% of 3,400 households said that they regularly go for cross-border shopping trips. The exchange rate has no influence on that decision as claimed 70%. Taking into the account spending out of CHF100 budget, Swiss pay CHF9 for shopping in France, whereas French only CHF5 in Geneva. French residents generally make cross-border dash to Switzerland for furniture, especially from Ikea. Whereas Swiss go across the border for fresh fish and meat – annually they spend EUR60 million on that, as well as alcoholic beverages (EUR35 million) and dairy products (EUR35 million).

Problems with traffic

Cross-border expenditure are marginal according to Geneva President Antonio Hodgers. Also, French official commented that trips made by French and Swiss for shopping are not important matter. However, the problem is traffic generated by cross-border workers and visitors. Hodgers claims most people use private vehicles to go to the other country for shopping and not public transport. As a result, traffic jams become a norm in the region. The survey indeed showed that 88% of Swiss resident take car for shopping in France, whereas 85% French residents use car to go to Switzerland for shopping.

All hope in Leman Express

All hope of local officials is put into the opening of new Leman Express, which will be a major new cross-border rail system. The launch is planned on December 15. Officials count that it will solve some transport issues in the region.

Shopkeepers are worried

Owners of shops in the Geneva region are not satisfied from the authorities’ comments on shopping cross-border trips. The message is not appropriate according to them and downplaying the impact of cross-border shopping is not right as many shopkeepers struggle to make ends meet – claimed Yves Menoud, head of the Geneva New Organization of Entrepreneurs (NODE). Any customers, no matter if they are from France or Switzerland, are very welcome.

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