Zermatt: a fantastic shopping experience
Zermatt is not just all about winter sports. It's also well-known for its relaxed and friendly shopping in the pedestrianised and well laid-out world-renowned resort destination. Along the famous Bahnhofstrasse or through the little lanes and alleys, always near to friendly cafés and welcoming bars. Where, after a little window shopping, families, sports enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike can be found carrying around premium brand name shopping bags.
Let Zermatt take you on a little shopping trip. Together with our couple, experience the wonderful diversity and delights of shopping in Zermatt. A number of brand-name stores will be opening in December 2012 or have already welcomed their first customers - like Bogner, Jack Wolfskin or Icebreaker.
Sport and Fashion
I watch my wife for a moment longer before she disappears in the direction of the Sportina fashion store to marvel to the latest creations from Bogner. Bogner has a very clear goal this year and so has opened a three-storey shop on the Kirchplatz square, where it will also be showcasing the latest fashion trends as well as sports apparel. Jet Set has done the same thing. Its impressive store is winning clientèle over with its diverse designer range. While I'm waiting, I pop into Bayard Sport on the Bahnhofplatz, where one of the assistants explains to me why Stöckli skis carve through the snow so beautifully. My wife is already on a voyage of discovery in the myriad of shops. We have arranged with each other that we will first head off independently and then meet up again. I follow her up the Bahnhofstrasse but first I go into the Timberland store. Their jackets and shoes smell so wonderfully of leather. Unfortunately I cannot find my wife in Sportina in one of the back streets. I take a look in Peak Performance close by, a label that typifies good-looking Scandinavian sportswear. There is still no sign of my wife. When I come out, I immediately see the new Icebreaker store next door. Its underwear and socks are based on wool from New Zealand Merino sheep.
I take my time and pop into Yosemite, the touring and mountaineering specialists and slip on some comfortable walking shoes - I would never have thought that they could feel that comfortable. However, the last time I bought some was over ten years ago. A little later I find another whole series of sports shops. I enter Julen Sport, which has an extremely modern ski hire section and am surprised as the friendly owner himself asks if I need anything. In Stoked I had my feet measured to try on some customised ski boots. My son would also fall in love with all the snowboards they have here.
A few yards further on, I come across the traditional Matterhorn Sport store, which stocks a huge selection of brands in such a small shop. Another Bayard Sport? Yes, the first shop opened by the Bayard family is located at the top of the Bahnhofstrasse and awaits me with an ultra-long list of high-end sports brands. Text from my wife: "I'm at Moncler." They produce truly the warmest jackets on the planet. On the way there, I look into the window of Lorenz Bach. They stock the most elegant fashion for men, from Ralph Lauren and La Martina. I can hear my wife's voice. She is just coming out of the fashionable Boutique Luma, which could just as well be in Paris or Milan. After a brief detour into the Boutique Harlem shoe and leather goods shop, my wife beams at me: "I need shoes." But of course. She might find them in the form of some hand-crafted shoes from The Shoeshop. Meanwhile I am dreaming of an Antarctic expedition. Were that ever to come to pass, I would buy a down jacket from The Northface and sleep in a warm sleeping bag from the new Jack Wolfskin store, the recently opened store near the Bahnhofplatz. At the brand new Boutique Olmo I find my wife. “One can get Freitag bags”, she says with calming voice. And not only those famous bags, but also affordable jeans.
Watches and Jewellery
It is amazing how much you can pay for a watch. I walk up and down past the long windows of the traditional Bucherer store and admire the high-end models of Rolex and IWC. Meanwhile, my wife is walking dreamily on, looking through countless shop windows and comes to a standstill in front of the friendly Schindler jewellery and watch store. The fact that she is standing on her tip-toes is an indication that she has caught sight of something of interest. She has discovered watches by Blancpain and Panerai, the premium Italian brands. She looks really lovely as the snowflakes stick to her coat. We stroll on arm in arm and reach the luxurious gem of "Chronometrie Stäuble", which is popular with customers by stocking the hottest watch brands on the planet including models by Hublot and Breitling. We wouldn't be in Switzerland's most renowned ski resort if we didn't come across a Swatch brand store. Innumerable colourful timepieces tick away in this brightly coloured and modern store. Opposite it, we catch sight of two other shops with an exciting selection of products. In Why not, modern chic encounters urban modernity in attractive jewellery. In Robert Raschle, just next door, an assistant waves a welcoming hand over the attractive display of medium-priced watches.
Delicatessens and Souvenirs
We dreamily look up at the Matterhorn. If only it were made chocolate. Although not quite as large, but filled with the finest nougat, we finally find it in the sweet gourmet bistro Le Petit Royal along the Bahnhofstrasse. The welcoming atmosphere of the small bistro invites customers to linger awhile. Alongside cakes and bread, little confectionery chocolate Matterhorns can also be found in the Biner and Fuchs bakeries, which we will undoubtedly track down on a sunny day after skiing. We are amused and equally amazed as we look at the seemingly endless rows of chocolates and the piles of chocolate pieces in the windows of Läderach on the Bahnhofplatz. We turn back to the Bahnhofstrasse and amble lazily along. In the Swiss Shop, we are startled by a cuckoo that comes shooting out of a handmade cuckoo clock - yet another hour has elapsed. Just opposite we pop into the Davis Shop. Interesting, partly curious gift ideas attract us in and bring a smile to our faces. We continue along the snow-clad Bahnhofstrasse and pass the long windows of the Wega souvenir shop, which showcase every shape and form of Swiss army knife. Shortly after passing through the square by the village church, we come across the magical Kristallgeheimnis: a small shop with jewellery made from crystals and Zermatt minerals.
What a day! We would never have thought that Zermatt could offer such a varied shopping experience. This evening we will seek out a nice restaurant and think about which shops we would like to devote a little more time to tomorrow. This is in the knowledge that we have only visited a fraction of all the shops and, in particular, have not yet seen some of the small shops in the lanes and alleyways. We will visit them when we come back to stay in Zermatt another day.