photo courtesy of: www.lescarnetsdudesign.com
Photos Erica Berman (except above)
As the global economic climate has forced consumers to shop more selectively, it has also forced retailers to sell more creatively. Merci, Paris’ newest concept store, provides a breathtaking space where visitors can shop with a conscience. Created by Marie-France and Bernard Cohen, founders of renowned children’s clothing line Bonpoint, Merci donates all of its proceeds (after breaking even) to a co-op for young women in Madagascar.
As Merci’s website explains, the concept for the store was “born of a dream,” and this whimsical attitude comes through in the store’s layout and details. From the decorative red Fiat Cinquecento that marks the store’s main door to the taxidermy animals scattered throughout the racks of clothing, this is a space that inspires reverie—in addition to shopping, of course.
Located in a three-story loft space in the 3rd arrondissement, Merci’s atmosphere is open and inviting; it’s the kind of place where you can spend an unrushed afternoon browsing merchandise, sipping tea, and simply exploring the space, which measures roughly 1,500 square meters. Part-loft, part-library, part-garden, the store is defined by an aesthetic simplicity that balances elegance with playfulness. In addition to housing a range of merchandise, Merci also includes a café (within the store’s “library” section) and a restaurant on the lower level.
Merci stocks everything from clothing, to flowers and garden accessories, to perfumes by Annick Goutal, to custom furniture and home goods, to second-hand books in multiple languages. Clothing offerings range from children’s merchandise (by brands like Bonpoint), to contemporary French brands (like A.P.C. and Isabel Marant), to vintage, to high-end designer labels (such as YSL and Chloé). Much of the clothing on sale has been created—and priced—exclusively for Merci.
Since opening in March, Merci has received rave reviews from in-the-know Parisians. Its ability to combine understated luxury with philanthropy sets it apart from the city’s other concept stores. So whether you’re out to buy or simply to browse, this is one address you won’t want to miss.
Merci, 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris 75003. Tel: 01.42.77.00.33.