In Austria Sport in the World Fashion Center you can find everything related to winter sports

Photo by Jennifer Gegrath

Austrian Gerhard Perer (75 years old) opened a store specializing in winter sports in Nijmegen 45 years ago. He later moved to Malden, where he also specialized in hiking. William Heemstra, 46, grew up in the company. He started as a sniffer’s apprentice and continued to work there until he was twenty. When he helped out with the bookkeeping after college, Perrier asked him if he wanted to take over the business.

Heemstra did just that, along with principal Bella Hemsz (41), in 2019. They decided to introduce hockey elements in addition to winter sports and outdoor activities. “A lot of people who play hockey also skate. It’s often the people who have the money for it.

They regularly visited suppliers in the global fashion center and when the opportunity arose to open a store in the old ABN Amro building, Heemstra did not hesitate for long. “I go from zero to one hundred in ten seconds.”

When you enter WFC, you will find Austria on your right. At this time of year, the store is full of winter sports gear. There is a bar in the back and a small seating area. There is a hockey cage in the space below the store, so you can test out your sticks; Behind an old steel safe door are the rental items.

In the store you will find ski socks (from € 12.95), helmets (from € 129.95) and boots (from € 299). Austria is also the first Dutch store to sell Strolz skates (from €1,149). These are specially made so that you can skate without pain even with serious foot problems. You can also get your skis or snowboards waxed and/or sharpened at the back of the shop (€25 / €30).

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