Since May 2018 Zurich has a new shopping destination for men: Trunk carries brands from Japan, Italy, the UK, the US and beyond, alongside its own in-house collection. It is the second store from owner Mats Klingberg who opened its first location in September 2010 in London that operates also with a sister accessories store, Trunk Labs, there.
“Our aim is to make Trunk a destination for men to shop everything from suits to shirts to swimwear. At the same time we want to deliver a great experience in a warm, welcoming environment–dedicated to making shopping simple and enjoyable,” Klingberg explains.
The 65-sq.-meter store is designed by Swiss and Zurich-based architect David Marquardt of MACH Architektur and features gray and oak walls combined with Swiss mid-century furniture.
The store carries labels such as A Kind of Guise, Alden, Anderson's, Aspesi, Barena, Begg & Co, Bigi, Boglioli, Camoshita United Arrows, Caruso per Trunk, Charlie Burrows, CQP, Finamore, Gitman Vintage, Ichizawa Hanpu, Incotex, Kaweco, Lardini, Mackintosh, MAN 1924, MCR, Perfumer H, Salvatore Piccolo, Tabio, Tamaki Niime, The Gigi, Trunk , Trunk by Porter, Valstar, Whitehouse Cox and Zanone among others.
We talked to Klingberg about the attractiveness of Zurich as a retail location, the specialty of the consumers there and promising newcomer labels.
You already operate a Trunk store in London for several years. And most recently you expanded the business with a new location. Why was it time to open a second store?
Our first shop opened in 2010 and the space being very small we quickly grew out of it, so that’s why we opened our accessories shop Trunk LABS in 2013. We’ve now gotten to a stage where we need more space again to continue growing, but rather than a third shop in London I thought it was time to open a shop on the Continent. I considered Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt but then landed on Zurich.
Why did you choose Zurich as the location for a second store?
Zurich is a very well connected city at the center of Europe and also has a good representation of the typical Trunk customer–35- to 55-year-old men who are well travelled, in senior positions in global companies or run their own business in the creative industry, finance, law, art or consulting.
What do you like about the city, the ’hood of the store and the customers? To what extent do they differ from the London target group? What are the special challenges?
Zurich has come a long way in the last ten years and while the perception for many people is still that it’s a city full of secretive banks the reality is that it’s now a very open and international city. The airport is only 15 minutes from downtown, so it is easy to fly in and out of to the rest of Europe and the world. In the summer you’ve got the rivers and the lake that are lined with bathing clubs and restaurants that people come to hang out with friends and family. There are lots of nice restaurants and constantly new things are opening up.
Seefeld is right next to the lake in more of a residential area, so a bit away from the main shop area and similar to what Marylebone is in London. It’s a destination, so our customers have to make a bit of an effort to visit us. This means less traffic, but higher conversions.
The customers in Zurich are very similar to our customers in London, but an early observation has been that they are much taller!
One of the joys to open the shop in Zurich has been all the professional people I’ve been dealing with and now also have on my team. No stand out challenges yet, but we of course realize we’re going to have to work very hard and do a great job to get people to come to the leafy streets of Seefeld to visit us.
What makes your store different and in what ways does your store excel beyond your competition in Zurich?
Like in London we’ve put extra effort in to creating a space that feels warm and welcoming, has a well edited selection of brands that feels new and fresh to the market. And we offer excellent customer service that makes the customer feel relaxed and well looked after.
What is important for you in terms of shopfitting and store design?
That it feels warm and welcoming. So many great looking shops can also be very intimidating for customers to walk in to, so it needs to be inviting in a relaxed way while being nice at the same time. I prefer dimmed lights rather than bright lights. They make everyone look better.
How important is digitization for you? How does it take place in your stores and on the sales floor directly?
Our website and online store is a very important shop window. Most visitors to the shop have already been on the website, so they already have a pretty good idea of what they’re interested in. In the shop itself it’s more about the personal interaction. It’s only at the last stage when you get to make the purchase that it gets more digital again. We’ve kept it very light, so the till system is on an iPad and card payments are made with a SumUp terminal.
What are the anchor brands of the assortment?
Similar to what we have in London, so Boglioli, Lardini, Barena, Aspesi, Alden, Common Projects, CQP, Incotex and Gitman Vintage. And our own label of course. In London our own label is now our biggest label, so that’s the aim also for Zurich. Lots of new items from the Trunk collection are now on their way to Zurich.
What are five products you couldn’t live without right now?
1. My Trunk swim trunks to go for a dip in the Zurich lake, just one minute walk from the shop
2. My Ichizawa Hanpu tote bag to keep all my essential things in (including the swim trunks)
3. My navy Boglioli cotton jacket
4. My collection of Trunk shirts in chambray and oxford
5. My Alden penny loafers
And what are the most promising newcomers this year?
De Bonne Facture is a newish French brand that I think has great potential. German brand A Kind of Guise are also doing a good job. Both of them make everything in their home countries, so that makes them stand out from lots of other brands.
You also operate an online shop. What percentage of your sales are from online business compared to your brick-and-mortar sales?
Our yearly average is around 20% online, but this varies a lot throughout the year. During sales the online share increases significantly.
What is the biggest challenge for retailing right now?
Staying relevant and human. While I’m a big believer and supporter of digitization I think it’s important to remember that we’re all humans and just because you can do so many creative things online, always be connected, personalize everything, etc. you don’t have to.
Tel: +41 (0) 44 382 84 58