Name: Christoph Ziegler
Job Title: Store Manager at the Norrøna Munich Flagship
From: Originally I’m from Füssen. Right on the border to Austria.
Favorite outdoor activity: There is no favorite. It’s all fun.
So Christoph, how long have you been working with Norrøna?
Since last May in 2022, so nearly a year.
How did you get the job?
I applied through actionsports.com. I’ve been working a Product Manager in the Winter Sport industry since 2013 and had a pretty good understanding of the industry. Before I was working as a project manager, then Corona hit. I had done all the DIY projects I could do at home waiting to get my old job back. I was bored and I felt like it was time to make the switch.
What is your all-time favorite Norrøna product?
It’s hard to say favorite, but I have a definite most used. It’s the trollveggen Thermal Pro Vest. Especially having a dog, I can just throw that on and be fine for the walk.
If we’re talking about our favorite vintage product, the lofoten onesies were super sweet.
You claim to not have a favorite sport, but you used to play one on a professional level…
Yes, that’s correct. I am a former professional baseball player. I played for Germany’s national team and got to travel all over the world.
So you’re just waiting for Norrøna to come out with a baseball collection?
Haha, maybe that’s something we should consider in the near future.
Which tech material are you most interested in letting a customer know about?
The coolest is the primaloft aerogel! It comes from the space industry. Like when I’m talking to a customer about the trollveggen Primaloft100 jacket, and I get to explain that the insulation was originally used inside of space suits and it’s the world’s lightest solid. It’s a cool story and cool material with space tech origins.
In your eyes, what is going to make a new retail employee succeed?
Whoever Norrøna hires has to be open and willing to learn. Our products are so technical, and we really take pride in the knowledge of all of our pieces. It’s a high price point so we want to turn our store employees into experts. A new employee’s first day is not about selling. The first day is about trying on as many products as you can. I want to encourage everyone to have some fun.
I would rather have a new employee try and explain a new material than just claim that they don’t know. Also, feel free to fail so you can become the best seller you can be. Just try and don’t be afraid to ask. We’ve got a strong team, so I just encourage everyone to ask.
How often do you encounter a “Norrøna newbie”?
Everyday. We’re definitely working as brand ambassadors. Our blown up visuals on the wall at the entrance of our store draws people in just to ask what our brand is. It’s helpful to also have our history wall in the entrance. It makes sharing the brand history easy and exciting.
What’s the most common question you get from customers?
What happens more and more is that we’re getting questions about where our products are produced. It’s all about CSR and responsibility right now for sure. This is expected. When you have the buying power, you have the ability to purchase products from companies you align with.
What’s really great is that our POS (Point Of Sale) is run on ipads, so we can also use this as a tool and show customers any information needed on our detailed website. Everything is traceable.
Do you still get excited about new products?
For sure. We try on everything when it comes in.
All Norrøna stores accept products to be sent in for repair if it is needed. Do you have any cool repair stories from customers you would like to share?
We don’t get the super old stuff like Norway and Sweden does. Though a while back, our ambassador Sebastian Copeland was leaving for an expedition to the South Pole so he brought in some of his products for repair. Seeing the actual worn gear and how we can help them even with the smallest changes to make it better. Out of extra fabric, Andy made an extra shield mask for Sebastian’s face which was pretty cool.