In a controversy mirrored elsewhere, including parts of France, Zurich is divided into two camps these days: those who favor opening more stores on Sunday, especially in tourist-heavy areas, and those who'd like to leave Sunday as a day of closed shops.
City tourism director Martin Sturzenegger called recently for Sunday openings to satisfy the growing number of visitors from the U.S., India and the Gulf States; he says many are from large cities where shopping is a big part of the lifestyle. He also suggested that local merchants would benefit because many Zurichers now cross the nearby border into Germany to shop on Sundays.
Leaders of the Zurich canton federation of trade unions, however, attacked the proposal as an attempt to change workplace laws "by the back door" and said the proposals would only help large businesses with hired staff while smaller, family-run businesses would not benefit and would lose non-working hours.
Currently, the only Zurich stores permitted to open are gas station stores and those in railway stations and airports.