British Products In Switzerland From Jim!

by Zurich Expats on July 17, 2014

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Expats always miss products “from home”.

We spoke to the good people at Jim’s British Market who help solve this problem for those originally from the UK who are looking for British products in Switzerland.mihaelaandkim

Jim’s British Mini-Market in St Genis-Pouilly (France), close to CERN, has traded successfully since the day Jim and Margaret Anderson opened their family business in 1996.

During the early years, Jim would regularly return to the UK to collect a range of British products, bringing a sense of nostalgia and comfort to those relocating to this area of France and across the border in Geneva.

Following the opening of their traditional tearoom in 1997, Jim’s became the first in the vicinity to introduce British Fish ‘n’ Chips to the menu, with customers flocking from miles around for the unique taste of battered fish, chipped potatoes and mushy peas with a sprinkle of salt ‘n’ vinegar!

How long have you been in Switzerland?

Jim’s British Market opened its doors at Gland, Switzerland on 20 January 2012; with the sales graph line trending ever high each year.

The prospect of finding and supplying new business partners, in densely populated expat regions of Switzerland is exciting (prime locations include Zug, Zurich and Vevey). The bigger volume, the cheaper Jim’s prices.

What prompted you to start Jim’s British Market?

With the huge influx of British expats migrating to the Geneva area, a limited choice of British brands and stable product lines, Jim recognised the opportunity to offer the Brits, duty paid food goods at fair value prices.

The initial range was quite modest but has since grown to over 1,500 lines in store. The range includes frozen and fresh lines, many of which are selected from Marks & Spencer (go online for your M&S Order Form at www.jims.ch).

Jim is also focused upon delivering more goods to customers and mini-markets located in the more remote areas of the country this winter e.g. Verbier and other Alpine ski resorts

How do you decide what products to carry?

Jim’s shop managers and food buyers are British; an essential and integral part of the business, as they can relate to the products and understand the British consumers’ trends and choices. Our customers, also have a huge input in to which lines and brands to source and supply.

jimandmargaret280newJim’s philosophy is to offer goods at competitive, fair value prices. Therefore, with import restrictions and the influence of Swiss import duties and tax being added to the base cost, managers need to define exactly what the market can substantiate with certain stock lines, e.g. high import duty charges are imposed by Swiss customs, on dairy, potato and fresh meat products (to protect their own Swiss farming market).

Also one needs to buy weight “quota” from the Swiss Government and keep a constant eye on the ever fluctuating currency exchange rate. Add this with the daunting prospect by buying stock with a limited shelf life or that simply changes with seasonal appeal, then stock-purchasing can be a challenge, especially with fresh food stock, as refrigerated transportation costs are not cheap.

What are your top selling lines?
Jim’s Marks and Spencer selected range of fresh food creates huge interest; the M&S Gastropub range, M&S Scotch Eggs, M&S Aromatic Crispy Duck, M&S Back Bacon, M&S Fish n Chips, M&S Pork Sausages and Chipolatas, M&S Beef & Chilli Sausages, M&S Steak & Kidney pies, Chicken pies, Steak ‘n Ale pies, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Warburtons Crumpets, Cornish Pasties (and seasonal products e.g. Haggis, Mince Pies, Christmas Cakes, Puddings and Xmas Crackers).

From the ambient section: Self-raising flour, jelly, mint sauce, golden syrup, soft dark brown sugar, Ella’s Kitchen baby food, pickles and chutneys, Cadbury’s chocolate, oatcakes, PG Tips, Shreddies, Hellman’s mayonnaise and Jim’s gluten free range.

From the drinks section: Ginger Beer (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), Magners Cider, Stones Ginger Wine, Ribena, Robinson’s, Belvoir and Roses cordials.

Jim’s also offers fresh food from local British and South African suppliers:

Meat Point (www.meatpoint.ch), our South African butchers produce fresh Boerewors, Biltong, T-Bone Steaks, Hamburger Patties, Loin of Pork (with crackling).

Le Pie (www.lepie.ch): Chicken ’n’ Tarragon, Beef ’n’ Guinness, Spicy Pork ’n’ Paprika (delicious)

How does one go about ordering from Jim’s British Market?

To order from Jim’s online:

Go to www.jims.ch and register as a “New Customer” and start adding selections to “Your Basket”.

Registered customers receive “Loyalty Points” (one Point for every CHF30 increment spent); accumulate 15-Points to receive CHF20 reward

Plus, if your order value is over CHF 100, your order is delivered (next day) FREE OF CHARGE.

For secure payment, register with PayPal to complete your order

What is your number one tip for expats in Switzerland?

KEEP CALM AND HAVE A CUP O’ TEA (preferably from Jim’s)

Expats Rule Of Thumb:

Year 1: Exciting, stressful and unsettling (can feel like you’re on holiday at times, surreal)…..have yet to discover Jim’s, so keep buying Tesco favourites to bring back to Switzerland

Year 2: Unsure if you really want to be out here…start to reminisce, miss the pub and Sunday roast, yearn for spells at home with the family, download Skype, may of heard of Jim’s

Year 3: Start to integrate, feeling more settled, can say “Bonjour, ca va?” with confidence and get a reply in French (that you don’t understand, so just reply “et-vous?”)! Found Jim’s, now feel at home, everything’s fine…

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