(WSJ) For some, the franc’s rise has been manna from heaven. The Swiss railways have added more trains on routes out of the country to accommodate bargain-seeking Swiss, and money-exchange agencies in the stations have seen demand for euros soar by as much as 15 times.
German supermarkets have piled on staff to cope with the surge in Swiss shoppers. Around 40% of shoppers at the Lago mall in Constance, Germany, are now Swiss, who can save as much as half of what they would pay at home. Some have scooped up 10 bottles of shampoo or 24 liters of milk at a time, says manager Peter Herrmann.
“It’s a bit like Christmas has never ended,” he said.
In Weil am Rhein, virtually all patients at dental clinic Zahnzentrum are Swiss, said the center’s assistant, Melanie Wenzel. The clinic recently started to advertise in Switzerland, where a cleaning typically costs 200 francs, double what the Zahnzentrum clinic charges. “People come here to shop and they also have a cleaning or a filling,” said Ms. Wenzel.
The Swiss have already begun to fight back.
Swiss diners living near the German border ordered so many pizzas from Constance restaurants that German vans sometimes crossed the border carrying as many as 60 pies. Swiss customs officials finally began stopping the vans, said Constance Mayor Uli Burchardt, forcing Swiss customers to go to the border to get their pizzas.