Affairs

Brilliant: There’s a Swiss grocery chain moonlighting as a gym.

ZÜRICH — “Tomatoes and treadmills don’t appear to be natural bedfellows,” reports Monocle this month (paywall), but one grocery chain, Migros, is also moonlighting as Switzerland’s top gym.

Per the report:

“Migros, Switzerland’s leading supermarket chain, is also the country’s top fitness provider, with nearly 200,000 members and a 20 per cent share of the market. . . .  Despite the opportunities, there are only a few other economies outside of Switzerland where supermarket companies have [done this]. . . . [Still,] the Swiss model could be successfully copied elsewhere as supermarkets across [Europe] look to reduce floor space and turn their outlets into destinations. Seen in this wider European context, the Swiss retailers are way ahead of the curve.”

Why this makes perfect sense: Lean Luxe is big on the idea of finding natural economic connections between services and products that would’ve continued to be overlooked had someone not stopped and asked, “Why not?” The wellness movement is firmly in place, and food and fitness, typically separate offerings, are easy pairings for companies that figure out how to approach the mix intelligently. Migros has done this, and other firms, regardless of sector they’re operating in, would be wise to jot down a few notes.

The funny thing is: Migros has been doing this since 1977. So despite the impression that this is a new offering and a new idea, it’s in fact a 40 year old connection that Migros saw early on — and has continued to build upon — decades before the likes of Google or Facebook were invented. In other words, technological advancement matters less than you might think in many cases. These types of connections are everywhere — if you know how and where to find them.

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