High on heels: the Business Unusual desk is impressed by the wild and wonderful moneymaking ideas that have been turned into business realities. An intriguing dossier that recently landed in our 'Business Unusual' in-tray was the Zurich-based high heel shoe retailer, Hot Heels.

AuteurO'Brien, Tom
Fonction Business Unusual

As always, with a nose for a new and exciting business ventures, we decided to sniff around for more details. So wearing my favourite pair of platforms I staggered straight over to the classy confines of Zurich's Stocker-strasse, just a stone's throw from the prestigious shoppers paradise of Bahnhofstrasse, and met up with Hot Heels owner/manager Danny Hindalov.

On entering the store, one is overwhelmed by the fantastic array of high heels in every shape, colour and size.

This is simply not the place to come to if you're looking for a sensible pair of driving shoes; this is the place where strictly high heel fantasies come to life.

The idea for the store, which is a veritable temple that worships at the alter of the stiletto, came from Hindalov's ex-girlfriend who was regularly frustrated by the limited range of high heels on offer in regular Swiss shoe shops.

"First I planned to open the store with her, but we split and I started this store with a friend," Hindalov tells Swiss News. "That also didn't work out, so I opened my own store," he added.

High on Fun and Perfection

Hindalov, who is also a competition standard champion bodybuilder, believes that he carries through his perfectionist traits from bodybuilding to running his business, "When I do something, I want it to be perfect," he explains. "That means I cannot work with a partner, who isn't as much a perfectionist as I."

Everything from a classic six-inch stiletto to a thigh high patent leather platform boot with a 10-inch heels can be found hanging from the rafters at the Hot Heels store. In fact the store has the widest selection of high heels on offer in the country, with 160 different styles available in up to nine alternative colours.

Danny Hindalov believes that Hot Heels is about having fun when dressing up. The store's owner isn't recommending that women take to their stilettos on a 24-7 basis, but does want customers to have the opportunity to take to the skies when the chance to dress-it-up comes along.

With customers rolling in from the world of show-business and television, Hot Heels has already found a niche within the Zurich retail scene that other retailers simply weren't filling.

"We have customers from 16 to 60-year-olds," says Hindalov. "Some come just because they walk by the store, while others have seen our web site (www.hot-heels.ch)."

One might worry that with everything within the store...

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