There was a time when, if you needed a pair of shoes, you went to a shoe shop. If you needed a sweater, you found what you were looking for in department stores. Books were bought in bookshops and jewelry in jewelry stores. Since then, a new craze has taken over the streets of Paris: the concept store. Now you can buy a dress, a scented candle, a fountain pen, shampoo, and much, much more in one single place. Heaven means no longer having to run all around Paris to find your heart’s desire.
Each concept store has its own identity and each has a different vibe. That’s what makes them interesting. The assortment of items on sale echoes the personality of the owners of the various stores. One of the forerunners, and the trendiest and most luxurious, is definitely Colette in rue Saint-Honoré in the 1st arrondissement. For around 20 years the store has ridden the wave of the one-stop shop. Sept-Cinq opened much more recently, in 2013, in the South Pigalle district in the 9th. This wonderful store is run by two young women who decided they wanted to showcase Paris designers. With more than 75 brands, you’ll find jewelry, scarves, footwear, watches, clothing, and bags. And if all that shopping makes you feel peckish, there’s also a tearoom within the store.
But if you only can shop at one concept store, make it Merci. This wonderful emporium is housed in a huge workshop on boulevard Beaumarchais in the 3rd arrondissement. At Merci, you’ll unearth everything you’ve ever dreamed of. You’ll find Tolix chairs, Seraxvases, lighting, household linens, wallpaper, furniture, travel bags, tableware, and a large assortment of clothing. Take your time to sort through the attractive and quirky items. It’s almost impossible to go into this treasure trove without leaving with several shopping bags filled to the brim.
Merci isn’t just a store; it’s also a fabulous venue offering other services. If you’re looking to relax after an exciting bout of shopping, stop off at the literary café. Sit at a table, order a café crème and a scone, and dive into a good book, just like you would at home. Fancy some flowers? Merci has a florist too. Feel like a snack? The restaurant that opens onto the garden is welcoming and has just what you need. The Merci experience never ends, so head there to shop of just for a nice day out!