I visited Movenpick six years ago but am curious to find out
if they've moved from their longtime "temporary" quarters.
At the time, Movenpick occupied several connecting two-story
buildings and had done so for 18 years. These are buildings usually
built for temporary use until the permanent structure is up.
Each year Movenpick would think about constructing a new building
but for one reason or another would end up going before the town
of Adliswil and obtain an extension to keep the "temporary"
quarters for another year. Adliswil lies about 10 miles from
Zurich's city center.
I'm a big fan of Movenpick's various businesses. It's chain of
hotels, mostly three and four star properties, gets the two thumbs
up from me. Movenpick's premium ice cream is also winner especially
my favorite flavor: tiramsu. The company operates several restaurant
chains and markets its own selection of wines, jams and juices
to over 30 countries. Revenues in 2001 were 600 million Euros
with over 13,000 employees.
Well, I'm about a mile from downtown Adliswil and the site formerly
housing the temporary structures is barren. I continue down the
road about a quarter mile and find the address I'm looking for.
Jeez, it's an old building pointed out to me six years ago as
housing Movenpick personnel. An Ibis hotel, a budget chain run
by hotel giant Accor, has replaced the low-end motel property
that sat directly across the street. I recall six years ago telling
my contact person that I was expecting a flagship Movenpick hotel
nearby and he admitted they didn't advertise owning the small
motel down the road.
Two friendly receptionists man the reception area. It's small,
with seating limited to two visitors. A call is made to CEO Bruno
Schoepfer's secretary. The gracious Liisa Sloeoer greets me in
the lobby and says her boss never received my letter of introduction.
I'm in luck though as Sloeoer agrees to answer questions.
This three-story building was built in the 1950's and was formerly
part of a factory complex. It's now home to 200 employees. There's
plenty of free employee parking, smoking isn't allowed in offices
and Fridays are casual dress days.
Though there isn't a cafeteria, coffee is free and employees
receive lunch vouchers for use in area restaurants. Meeting rooms
are named after birds (albatross, falcon and so on), there's
no corporate art collection, it's 30 minutes to Zurich Airport,
10 minutes to downtown Zurich and 100 meters to the nearest freeway.
Employees enjoy special rates on company wines and ice cream.
CEO Schoepfer's second floor corner office contains one computer,
one real plant, family pictures and, a not very exciting view
of the street.