From the end of May to the beginning of September, Vimmerby square gets new life when it is transformed from a carpark into a summer square. The Hoptoad and the three Noisy Village cottages are put in place, and it’s finally time for the outdoor cafés to open up. Children run around and play while parents look on and enjoy a calmer pace of life. Ice cream is scooped, cinnamon buns are enjoyed and the summer feeling arrives. Summer reading material is chosen from the book kiosk and people crowd to take photos with Astrid Lindgren’s statue, and with their hands full of bags they visit the local shops in search of holiday essentials.
For several hundred years, Vimmerby square has been the heart of markets and trade. Over the years, the offerings have spread along the quaint nearby streets, where historic houses and small and unique shops stand side by side. There’s plenty on offer, everything from holiday reading and summer attire to hiking boots and outdoor activities.
The small-town charm makes the shopping experience here something special, with a wonderful mix of small shops and large chains. The shelves are stacked with a mixture of local crafts and well-known brands, and both young and old have an opportunity to update their wardrobes over the course of a shopping trip.
Continue to peruse in the fantastic nostalgia at one of the many flea markets and antiques shops. Large stores filled from floor to ceiling to individual stalls with treasures from the past and present attract visitors of all ages. An exciting treasure hunt amongst retro artefacts, antiques and bric-a-brac. For those who shop for pleasure, the environment or with their heart.
The development of the small shopping centre
Vimmerby is a town with a tradition of markets and trade going back several hundred years. Although small, Vimmerby was already a trade centre during Gustav Vasa’s time, when the population was about 100 people. The significance of the small market town was seen as a threat to larger ports such as Kalmar, so in 1532 it was decided that its town charter would be withdrawn.
Vimmerby eventually regained its town charter more than 70 years later, and the first point in the charter letter stated that Vimmerby should have three annual markets. The markets were not only a good trading opportunity for visitors from near and far but also a public event. Trade continued to grow, and the cattle market, with ox trade at the forefront, became very important to the town. Between 1727 and 1746, more than 1400 oxen were sold each year to satisfied buyers who came from near and far. Even today, three annual markets are organised in Vimmerby; while oxen are no longer the highlight, the town can still offer great trade and a public event on market days.