Migros strengthens its core business and seeks new owners for Hotelplan and Mibelle
The Migros Group wants to increase the attractiveness of its core business for customers and is also focusing specifically on those operating fields in which it can continue to be successful in the future. Over the next five years, the retailer will invest over eight billion Swiss francs for its customers, including in lower prices and new store concepts. At the same time, Migros will divest companies that no longer fit the Group strategy. It is therefore looking for suitable new owners for Hotelplan and Mibelle. Migros is also working towards future-oriented solutions for its specialist markets. The divestment processes will not change anything for customers and business partners. All business continues to run reliably as before.
With the Group strategy adopted in 2021, Migros decided to focus consistently on the retail (food and non-food), financial services (Migros Bank) and health (Medbase Group) operating fields in the future. By concentrating on its core business, Migros aims to consolidate its position as the number one Swiss retailer. It aims to appeal to its retail customers with attractive prices, top quality and good service as well as a wide range of products for every budget. Over the next five years, Migros plans to invest around eight billion Swiss francs in Switzerland as a business location and also in lower prices for customers. In addition to investments in Migros supermarkets, the focus will be on the introduction of a new store concept for Denner, more effective and expanded logistics for Denner and Digitec Galaxus, the expansion of the online business as well as customer-focused, profitable production operations in Migros Industrie.
The Migros Group’s portfolio was analysed as part of the strategic prioritisation process. It has become clear that Migros is no longer always the appropriate owner going forward and that individual subsidiaries will have better prospects of success outside Migros. As a result, the Board of Directors of the Federation of Migros Cooperatives (FMC) decided on Thursday (1 February 2024) to launch a divestment process for Hotelplan Group and Mibelle. “The successful future of these companies is very important to us. As Migros is no longer the ideal owner due to its strategic prioritisation, it intends to look for suitable buyers carefully. We are specifically seeking new owners who have a strong foundation for successfully developing the companies further”, explains Mario Irminger, President of the FMC Executive Board.
The activities of these companies will continue as before. Nothing will change for customers and business partners. All business and brands continue to run reliably. Migros guarantees this.
Hotelplan Group: size is crucial in the travel business
The travel business has shifted towards very large international or specialised travel companies, where size matters. The Hotelplan Group is the largest travel company in Switzerland, but is comparatively small in global terms, and synergies with the Migros Group’s core business are limited. Gottlieb Duttweiler’s mission in 1935 “to help the beleaguered Swiss hotel industry and at the same time make holidays possible for the little man” is now also well fulfilled by many other providers. After the travel group used the pandemic to position itself even more successfully, Hotelplan Group achieved record results in 2022 and 2023. However, Migros sees even greater development opportunities for the company with a new owner.
Mibelle Group: more and more international business
The companies of the Mibelle Group, which are active in the Personal Care & Beauty, Home Care and Nutrition sectors, are very successful internationally. Foreign business now accounts for around 70 percent of sales. However, there is less and less connection to Migros’ core business in Switzerland. While a number of products are manufactured for Migros supermarkets, this is only in small quantities compared to global sales. Mibelle has grown out of and beyond Migros, which is why there are fewer similarities and synergies today. Migros therefore considers the development opportunities to be greater under new ownership. However, Migros’ popular own brands, such as the “I am” care products or the “Handy” washing-up liquid, will continue to be available at Migros, manufactured by Mibelle under new ownership or by third-party suppliers.
Specialist markets Bike World, Do it + Garden, Melectronics, Micasa, OBI, SportX under pressure
As online retail continues to grow strongly, sales in brick-and-mortar stores in the non-food sector have increasingly come under pressure. The coronavirus pandemic has also greatly accelerated this development. Following a thorough analysis, the Board of Directors of Migros Specialist Market AG has decided to initiate divestment processes for SportX and Melectronics in order to find more suitable owners outside the Migros Group. The remaining four formats will be subject to an in-depth review. As the present structure with several operators makes it impossible to optimally serve the respective markets.
Divestment processes without impact on customers
Migros will carry out the divestment processes prudently and carefully. These will therefore take some time, particularly at Hotelplan Group and Mibelle. Nothing will change for customers during this time; business will continue as normal and will be guaranteed by Migros. No significant changes are expected for the employees of the companies concerned during the divestment process either.
Cutbacks of up to 1,500 jobs: support for affected employees
Unfortunately, the strategic prioritisation of the Migros Group will mean that up to 1,500 full-time jobs will have to be cut. Such decisions are made subject to prior consultation with employee representatives as required by law. Migros will assume its responsibility as a caring employer and do everything in its power to avoid layoffs wherever possible and to actively support affected employees in finding a new position within or outside the Migros Group. There are currently around 1,400 vacancies in the Migros Group alone, and workers and specialists are in high demand everywhere. Some of the job cuts can also be absorbed through natural fluctuation. Cutbacks of 40 jobs are expected at Bestsmile. In order to maintain its position as market leader for corrective orthodontics in Switzerland, the company has planned a restructuring programme that requires the closure of nine locations.
Negative impact on the operating result of 500 million Swiss francs
As part of the ongoing review of the portfolio, the Migros Group identified a need for value adjustments of around 500 million Swiss francs. This relates in particular to logistics properties, IT projects and various other assets that, due to changes in market conditions, have a lower balance sheet value and are adjusted. The value adjustments will have a corresponding negative impact on the net profit of 2023. Nevertheless, the Migros Group will be able to report a positive result for the past financial year.
Detailed reporting on the annual results will take place at the FMC’s annual media conference on Tuesday, 26 March 2024.