PKZ - The leading fashion house in Switzerland and its CEO

Manuel Beer is the first female Director of PKZ, a family enterprise which has been in business for the past 138 years. The letters PKZ reflect the name of the Company’s founder: Paul Kehl, Zürich.

Manuela Beer, you mark the top of PKZ. Why do you need stationary shops as well as digital shopping platforms? Do you need both?

Yes, absolutely. We endevour to merge the best of both worlds, in line with our omnichannel strategy. We are highly attentive hosts to our customers in our 40 stores. The personal shopping experience we offer through the ambiance we create, is of utmost importance. We provide relaxed shopping as our employees are highly qualified and are happy to advise.

We value the online business, where we are one of the pioneers in Switzerland, to complete our services. We see as an additional service to our customers. Our digital platform, where you will find an attractive selection of fashion products, is of course also a large shop window at the same time. Whether you then buy your favourite piece in the shop, or have them sent directly to your home or to the nearest store, makes no difference in the end. We remain flexible and are thus able to fully focus on customer’s wishes, such as exchanging or returning goods, which have been ordered online at one of our local stores.

Manuela Beer, men don’t tend to like shopping that much. However, at least in our banking world, they turn up in perfect attire. How is the business with menswear?

We are quite satisfied with our menswear stores. Men are actually not quite as complicated as you might think. They are generally a little more decisive than us women. Men like to be advised and are equally interested in buying highest quality clothes from our top brands such as Boss, Z Zegna, Windsor and Paul Kehl. Those who like it a little more trendy, on the other hand, will find what they are looking for at Tiger of Sweden, Hugo, Paul or Paoloni. In addition, for the more demanding customer and individual wishes, we recommend our made-to-measure clothing, which we offer in our flagship stores. Very important also are fashionable accessories to business outfits, which can make that fine difference. We are happy to give the appropriate styling tips to ensure that future compliments are guaranteed.

Where do you foresee further growth in the Fashion Business?

If you have a broad branch network and a strong brand like PKZ, growth is possible in small-scale Switzerland, even if the overall market is shrinking considerably. We have demonstrated this in recent years.

One segment that is developing extremely well and which I am particularly keen to highlight, is that of business women. The continuing advance of gender equality in business, administration and politics is paying off positively for us. I am happy to reveal that female Federal Councillors visit us regularly too.

And in the same context, I am happy to mention that it is not only bankers who buy from us, as you might think, but also a large number of female bankers.

What is it that PKZ does better in comparison to other fashion stores?

Fashion is our passion. And we are happy to pass on our know-how and enthusiasm for fashion to our customers. We have a dedicated and highly motivated team who enjoys working within that high service culture. Our stores are lovingly decorated so that you almost feel at home. And we are extremely active in communication and in the area of events and sponsoring, for instance, so that we are able to carry our passion for fashion to the outside world and thus continue to inspire new customers of PKZ.

Manuela Beer, we thank you warmly for this interview!

August 13, 2020


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