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Bold enough to try a new approach

In Zurich’s Sihlcity – probably Europe’s most modern shopping centre, built on the site of a former paper factory – the pet supplies chain Qualipet has opened its newest store, trying out a few new ideas into the bargain.
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Download: Bold enough to try a new approach (PDF-file) Sihlcity is a complex of 80 shops, including well-frequented stores such as Media Markt and Coop, 13 food outlets, doctors' surgeries, wellness and health businesses and a 14-screen cinema complex. The operator of this elegant shopping mall, which boasts over 100 000 m² of retail area under one roof, anticipates receiving 20 000 visitors a day and annual sales in the stores of CHF 400 mio (approx. € 247 mio). The architecture is a symbiosis of existing brick buildings and modern glass and steel structures. A chic, modern ambience characterises the stores. Rolf Boffa, the managing director of Qualipet AG and an important trendsetter in the Swiss pet supplies business, has come up with some new ideas for his latest store, the 52nd in the chain. The café bar at the entrance to the store, which was full almost to bursting on the opening day due to the huge throng of visitors, is one example. While drinking their espresso, customers can look out directly onto a huge koi pond that nestles in an authentic-looking rock wall next to the café. Before entering the store they pass several large screens presenting impressive underwater scenes along with information on leading manufacturing firms – a new presentation idea for which Rolf Boffa has secured sponsorship from the industry. Shop-in-shop units Another entirely new approach to doing business at Qualipet is embodied by five spacious shop-in-shop units in which Royal Canin, Hill’s, Nutro, Vitakraft and Masterfoods present themselves and their products in a themed, innovative manner. The Vitakraft shop was set up on the basis of the existing “pet's corner” concept, which has not featured in Switzerland before. While the front of the pet store is dominated by pet food and accessory products for dogs, birds and small animals, the rear part of the store is devoted entirely to animals. Here visitors can stand and marvel at the large, light-grey aquarium wall with integrated show aquariums, a glass installation framed in wood for housing small mammals, a splendid aviary and Qualipet’s biggest vivarium to date, featuring a wide-ranging assortment of snakes and spiders in addition to lizards. All the animal enclosures are finished with nicely shaped roofs in different colours to identify the respective animal group. Further pointers are provided by the large, appealing animal pictures on the walls, designed to inspire interest in pet owning. Tall columns in…
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