Zürich: PRINT MATTERS!

Hey guys, please introduce yourself.
We are a group of six friends. We have known each other for quite a while - we studied together, we shared apartments together, two of us are brothers. With backgrounds in industrial design, politics and economics, we’ve been told we are an unlikely bunch to venture into the magazine business, since only one of use has worked in journalism. However we have been collecting magazines from all kinds of places over the past years, and we want to bring our favorite magazines to Zürich.

How did it all come about?
PRINT MATTERS! started out as a summer project: We were given the opportunity to test the idea of an independent magazine store in a small space in the old town of Zürich. We ran a crowdfunding campaign and started stocking about 100 magazines across many different genres, art and culture, design, longform, fashion, travel and food categories. Apparently, we struck a nerve because we had a great summer, with lots of press and people stopping by. So we kept on going. Since February we have been permanently located inside Gerolds Garten, Zürich’s urban gardening project.

Why did you decide on opening a store like this?
We were bored with what kiosks in Switzerland were offering, and frustrated we couldn’t get our favorite magazines anywhere unless we travelled to Berlin or London. We were quite suspicious about wether it would work in Zürich, as the idea of opening a magazine store seemed obvious to us - for sure, someone must have tried it before us and failed. In hindsight, we’re glad we did it. It’s not just that we can introduce people to independent magazines (which is super cool), it’s also the fact that we are learning about new magazines we didn’t know about before.

What kind of magazines can people find at your store?
We’re sticking to a simple principle; If you can find a title at a traditional kiosk in Switzerland, we won’t stock it. It’s not that these magazines are bad or anything (quite the contrary), but we had to introduce this rule since the list of magazines we want to have in stock was a lot longer than the number of magazines we can fit in our small store. There’s a small number of titles we always offer, such as Apartamento, The gentlewoman, Cereal and the Swiss magazine Reportage. And then there are new titles that we come across and want to test out. If our customers like them as much as we do, we keep it, and if not we try something new. It’s a trial and error-exercise that helps us discover a lot of new magazines, supported by the sales of the more well established core titles we offer.

What area is your store located? Where would you've taken us, if we were to spend and afternoon in Zürich?
Our store is one of a few stacked container boxes in an urban garden in Zürich West. If we were to spend the afternoon together we’d meet for an espresso in the garden, maybe grab a magazine from the store and just relax for a bit. Then we would go around the corner and climd the stairs of the Freitag Tower, to give you an overview of the city. We would make a quick stop at the Scandinavian store Soeder in case you want to bring home a gift and maybe have a chat with the owner, he is Swedish and I bet Sweds and Norwegians go really well together! Next we’d visit one of the current exhibitions at Löwenbrau Areal, Zürich’s art gallery complex. After that, we would probably go for an apertivo at Café Lang at Limmatplatz. If we’re really hungry we would book a table at La Baracca. From here we can take it wherever we want, because we are close to Langstrasse with countless bars and clubs. We could have drinks at Sport Bar or the new Bank, go clubbing at Kauz - or simply go straight to bed.