Retail trade has always been characterized by change and has a dynamic nature. For Zurich’s city centre to remain attractive to retailers, politicians must support entrepreneurial initiative and allow new ideas to be implemented.
DEMAND FOR RETAIL AND OFFICE SPACE REMAINS HIGH
Retail is one of the most dynamic sectors in the Swiss economy. Stores are constantly responding to changing demand, regardless of whether this is due to trends, customer preferences or the shifts in personal shopping behaviour. As a city’s shopping arcades change, so does the city itself. Zurich is no exception: new store concepts are created, ideas are tested directly on the market and the goods presented constantly vary. Changes like these are sometimes regrettable, such as when a cherished traditional business closes its doors. The closures of crowd-pleasing locations like the planned partial closure of the Jelmoli department store are also painful. Such announcements often quickly create fears that the Zurich city centre could lose its attractiveness or even become deserted. However, a decline of this kind has yet to occur and there is no indication that it is imminent. In fact, demand for retail and office space continues to be high.
Zurich needs good ideas from retailers
The Zurich City Association is not closed off to change. However, our goal is clear: we want to shape the city centre of the future. In particular, this means that changes in retail trade deserve more attention, especially from politics. That is why we are committed to strengthening entrepreneurial initiative in the political realm. This enables the industry to take change into its own hands and to drive it for the benefit of customers and the entire city centre. For this to succeed, those in retail trade – both the store managers as well as the owners of the shops – need greater freedom to implement their good ideas. This would allow both structural ideas and commercial freedom to be developed and tested on the market. The current regulations are often too strict and rigid.The Zurich City Association is also engaged in dialogue with the city authorities and elected representatives. This exchange and cooperation is extremely important and should be carried out even more intensely. Doing so would ensure that important goals are reached: these include the implementation of tourism zones in the city centre, offering opening hours on Sundays, dismantling regulations and easing too-strict historic preservation laws as well as the support of mobility and logistics in the city centre. In this way, change will lead to a positive dynamic for Zurich’s city centre, and Zurich will remain lively and attractive. The Zurich City Association is convinced that change can thus contribute to strengthening our city and its location.