Starting with five vehicles in 1925, his Migros eventually opened stores and is today one of the main grocery chains in Switzerland. The original secret to his success was bringing daily necessities to the consumer by excluding the middlemen. As a result, many producers initially chose to boycott Migros, and Duttweiler's Migros would itself manufacture or package those missing products. In 1941 Gottlieb and his wife Adele Duttweiler transferred ownership of Migros to their customers, as a cooperative. Duttweiler also required that Migros contribute a percentage of profits to cultural, athletic, and hobby-related activities. This led to the Migros-club-schools and several hobby courses.
Duttweiler also founded the political party Landesring der Unabhängigen (national ring of independents).
On an occasional basis, the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institut awards the Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize, beginning in 1970.