Bonjour! The Retail Oasis team have just come back from a week looking at Paris retail. So who were our favourite retailers? Well in no particular order, here’s our top 5.
7 Rue de Condè, 75006 Paris
Designed for the Japanese cosmetics brand En (which translates to beauty in Japanese), this 150 square metre store is the brands first physical store. En’s unique selling point is that customers are able to create customised skincare products by choosing and mixing from a range of over 100 individual products.
So what’s so impressive about the store? The brand marries French skincare formulas with Japanese beauty techniques to form a truely unique in-store experience. Occupying the ground floor and basement of an 18th century building in Paris, walking into this store feels like you’re deep within a wine cellar – right down to the exposed stone walls and vaulted ceilings. The merchandising strategy is heavily inspired by French wineries. Products are exhibited, each bottle is displayed separately with special lighting and the boxes used for storage (made of Japanese paulownia wood) are also stacked and displayed to create a cellar-like atmosphere.
40 rue de Sèvignè, Paris
Originally opened in the 1980s, L’Eclaireur was actually the first concept store to be opened in Paris. This 450 square metre store mostly sells clothes but also has an assortment of accessories, shoes, home goods, technology and art. What truely makes L’eclaireur unique is that it’s more than just a shopping experience, it is an artistic one as well. Part retail boutique, part art gallery – the store is worth a visit alone to admire the impressive interiors by Beligian futurist artist Arne Quinze.
The store is an ever-changing art installation where the creators encourage everyone to find themselves in the items and create a world for themselves. The store uses a blend of architecture, sculpture and technology (clothing collections are dissimulated behind moving walls and next to video screens) to give every visitor a personalised sensory experience.
111 boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris
The word ‘Merci’ is not only ‘thank you’ in French, but also the name of a chic concept store situated in the heart of Paris. If you’ve spent time on any Paris Instagrammer’s account, you’ve likely seen Merci’s iconic storefront (the very famous red Fiat). Housed in an elaborately reconfigured 18th century 1500 SQM fabric factory, this would have to be one of the most eclectic stores we visited in Paris.
The store has a cozy atmosphere and is chocked full with a range of furniture, jewellery, stationery, fashion, household products, kidswear and haberdashery. There’s even a tearoom in the back equipped with couches and a reading nook stocked full of books. Not only is the store a fun place to shop, but all profits are donated to charity (in particular, organisations fighting poverty amongst women and children).
Le Bon Marche
24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris
Paris is known for it’s world class department stores, and Le Bon Marche would have to be the grande dame. Opened in 1852, Le Bon Marche was the first department store in the world and arguable, we’d say it’s one of the best we’ve seen.
It’s easy to get lost in the detail of this store. From the fashion, the food and the architecture of the building – everything is impeccable. And with the recent launch of the department store’s e-commerce site, 24sevres.com, Le Bon Marche upholds its entrepreneurial legacy by marrying a stunning brick-and-mortar retail experience with modern convenience and technology.
40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris
This 70,000 square metre flagship store is a symbol of Parisian elegance, offering more than 3,500 brands from the affordable to the most prestigious. The store is a tourist mecca (50% of all visitors are said to be tourists and it’s rumoured that 1 in every 2 tourists to Paris visit the store); and it’s easy to see why. In addition to amazingly curated merchandise and interiors, the store is known for it’s cutting edge pop-ups and events. There’s weekly fashion shows, daily tours with multilingual staff; and when we visited, there was even a trampoline installation (where you can bounce over the store) hanging from the ceiling. Wow!