Basel, Switzerland’s Capital of Culture, is not only that – the Swiss capital is also a central business location for a wide range of companies. This also applies to companies that are active in the trading industry. This article presents three trading companies that are based in Basel.
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Place 1: Coop Cooperative: CHF 31.9 billion turnover
Coop Genossenschaft is one of the largest Swiss trading companies and is active in both retail and wholesale. The group was formed back in the 19th century from consumer associations – founded in various Swiss towns. In 1890, they merged to form the Verband Schweizerischer Konsumverein (VSK). VSK was the name of the group until 1969, when it was renamed Coop. Today, the Group operates supermarkets, hypermarkets, DIY and hobby stores, restaurants, pharmacies, service stations and convenience stores. Approximately 95,000 employees work for Coop companies. Well-known Coop subsidiaries are “Christ Uhren und Schmuck” and the consumer electronics chain “Interdiscount”.
Place 2: Dufry AG: CHF 2.5 billion turnover
A retail business was founded in Basel in 1865 under the name Weitnauer. In 1948, Weitnauer started wholesaling in the duty free sector. Duty free became the mainstay of the business in the following decades. Consequently, the company was renamed Dufry in 2003 – a made-up word that incorporates the duty free concept. Today, Dufry operates around 2,300 duty-free and duty-paid stores. Locations include airports, seaports and border crossings in 65 countries worldwide, as well as cruise ships. The company employs over 36,000 people. Dufry has been listed on the stock exchange since 2005. The shares are predominantly in free float.
Position 3: JUMBO: CHF 600 million turnover
JUMBO is a Swiss DIY chain and also a division of Coop Genossenschaft. The JUMBO story started in 1972 as a wholesale chain in Dietlikon near Zurich. In 1974, Maus Frères Holding became the new owner and the name JUMBO became a trademark. In 1982, the first pure JUMBO DIY store was opened, and since 2000 the company has focused exclusively on DIY stores. The JUMBO wholesale stores became Carrefour stores. Until 2021, the DIY business ran under the umbrella of Jumbo-Markt AG. In November 2021, it was integrated into the Coop Cooperative. Since then, JUMBO has formed a legally dependent division and brand of the Coop Group.