Consumer Goods & Retail 

"The Customer is King" - a saying that will never die. Plus, customers are becoming increasingly demanding – today’s customers have access to a wealth of information and know how to put it to use. In fact, clientele in both developed and emerging markets have more information at their disposal than ever before. Sustainability, organic, fair trade and e-shopping are just a few buzzwords. Global competition’s business models are becoming more and more sophisticated. Globalization, brand management, e-commerce and database marketing are on the agendas of high-performance consumer goods and retail organizations. Their central challenge now is how to shape itself.

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The high population growth rate, structural increases in purchasing power, the growing affluence of the middle and upper classes as well as emerging countries are opening up considerable growth potential for the luxury goods industry. Strong Swiss brands were able to hold their own even during the economic crisis and are enjoying rising popularity in growth markets like Asia and both the Near and Middle East. Of equal significance, the Swiss luxury and food industry belong to the leading industries worldwide.


What are the challenges?

The challenges facing the Swiss consumer goods industry consist mainly in its strong dependence on GDP growth and private consumption. An optimum price-performance ratio must be guaranteed at all times. These challenges include:


  • Sustainability
  • Multichanneling
  • Control over brand distributors
  • Polarization of both high and low price products
  • Switzerland as a manufacturing location
  • Risks inherent in the supply chain structure
  • Increasing scarcity of resources (oil, agricultural commodities, etc.)
  • Increasing spread of information and networking technologies (Internet, RFID, logistics systems, etc.)
  • Liberalization, globalization and increasingly intense international competition
  • International expansion


How can KPMG help?

Switzerland is known for its unique, high-quality food and consumer goods industry. The global network and worldwide project experience makes KPMG a reliable partner with unique expertise in areas such as:


  • Cost optimization
  • Credit advisory services
  • Cash flow forecasting and liquidity planning
  • Process assurance
  • Risk management advisory services
  • Assistance with re-evaluating supplier structures
  • Tax optimization for structures, employees, revenue, customs duties, valuation of goods, M&A, foreign assignments
  • Working capital management incl. renegotiation of supplier terms and conditions
  • Re-evaluation of store KPIs
  • Analysis of value drivers, competitive advantages and benchmarks for market shapers

Fabien Lussu

Fabien Lussu

Partner, Audit Suisse Romande, Sector Head Consumer Goods & Retail

+41 58 249 46 29

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ConsumerCurrents is published for senior executives at consumer goods companies, suppliers and wholesalers around the world. Here, topical industry issues, global trends and business planning come under the scrutiny of KPMG firms’ industry professionals.