Got a minute?

Many Zuidas businesses and retailers have had a tough time recently with the Covid-19 outbreak and all the resulting measures. Hello Zuidas decided to take a tour of the district and ask some local business owners about their experiences over the past months.

MARJOLIJN MEIJER Founder of TrainMore, Clubsportive & HIGH STUDIOS

‘For us, these last months have been like a rollercoaster. We pulled off some wonderful things, even making the NOS evening news with our rooftop workout #clubsportiveontour. The team have worked so hard to keep providing our members and non-members with home workouts, online classes and now even an outdoor gym. What made the past months hard was the uncertainty – not knowing when and how we could hope again. Every week we hoped to get the green light. Then we had our hearts set on 1 June, but at the end of May came the prime minister’s announcement that nothing would change for our sector until 1 September. It was like the rug had been pulled out from under me. I really wondered: how are we going to do this? Aside from Clubsportive, our group consists of twenty other gyms. In the end you resign yourself to it and push ahead, and it’s that energy we need to get through this crisis together. In these “crazy” times we’ve both grown as a team and become more versatile.’

ELSKE JOUSTRA Albert Heijn store manager (Peter Schatstraat)

‘I’ve come to realize more than ever how responsible we are for the safety of our customers and employees. We’re part of the critical infrastructure and I’m very conscious of that now. Customers have to be able to trust that they can do their shopping with us safely, so I’m super proud of how my team has pulled together in order to achieve that. As for what the future holds, I’m not so sure. The store has been adapted to the six-foot economy, but I don’t know how our customers’ buying habits will change after everything we as a society have been through these past months.’

ENVER VARISLI Owner of Doppio Espresso Zuidas 

‘It was very quiet in Zuidas and there were hardly any office workers around. We reopened for takeaway service in mid-April and of course now we’re completely open. It’s gradually getting busier. Our regulars are coming back and we’ve also had new customers. So in that sense I’m hopeful about the immediate future. We’ve adapted the layout of our terrace and inside we have also put measures in place. I hope we’ll soon be able to welcome everyone at our café like we used to. We’re looking forward to seeing people again!’

LUCAS VERSTRATEN & MAARTEN CHRISTIAANS Co-owners of XO Optics (Gustav Mahlerlaan)

Lucas: ‘Our shop opened in June. There was no optician in the neighbourhood at the time. We didn’t have to think twice about this location on Gustav Mahlerlaan. We did a total refurbishment of the premises to give it a luxurious feel. We’ve pretty much kept our cool during the corona crisis. It’s a good thing that restaurants and bars are open and that the streets are coming back to life.’ Maarten: ‘We’ve taken the guidelines set out by dentists as our standard and have a large measurement area where people can easily stay six-feet apart. The shop also has a very strong ventilation system. We hope Zuidas residents and workers will drop by soon. It’s worth a visit!’