Branch of long-established wine merchants opens in city
The Weinhaus Martel opened open its first branch outside St Gallen last Saturday, in the premises formerly occupied by the Jet Set fashion shop at number 14 Rämistrasse.
As this article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung explained, these premises were actually once used as a petrol station, so the drive-in and forecourt make it ideal for deliveries and customers. The building itself is not only 81 years old but listed, too, and this has meant great care has had to be taken in its refurbishment. For example, a steel construction has had to be used to support the all the shelves, to keep the heavy weight of the wine from damaging the floor.
While the huge main sales area doubles up as an area for receptions, a wine bar has been set up in one corner of the store, too, and mineral water, still or fizzy, is available on tap, too.
One of the reasons the proprietors of this 140-year-old wine merchants decided to open a shop in this central district of Zurich was to improve its visibility in a city where it has enjoyed a great increase in custom over the past ten years, as Jan Martel, a member of the fifth generation of the same family to run the business, explained. It was 25 years ago that the family business was very much a pioneer in selling online, and indeed across Europe, but now it felt it wanted to bring customers into closer proximity by opening stores. “To be successful, you actually need both elements,” said Martel.
The opening of this store has been very much welcomed in area where shops have been closing down, and not just by wine-lovers, but also by fellow wine-merchants.