As with most buzzwords, “concept store” is being used a lot in retail. So, what is a Concept Store? What differentiates one from a showroom or flagship store?
It is a shop that sells a carefully curated and unique selection of products that connect to an overarching theme. Often, they evoke a lifestyle that appeals to a specific target audience – they are inspirational.
Handpicked products are pulled together from different brands and designers, from around the world and they usually span different lines, such as fashion, beauty and homewares.
Concept stores are about discovery and experience. So, the products and design tend to change regularly to keep telling that story in new and interesting ways.
Many of them offer extra experiential elements such as a café or events space, which help build a community around the lifestyle they embody.
It is modern retail built around a lifestyle.
With online shopping increasingly the norm, bricks and mortar stores need to deliver more than just the goods. They must be experiential, beautifully designed ‘master shops’, enticing visitors off their apps and through their doors.
There are many concept stores in many great cities around the world, although in my view the best has to be Merci in Paris. Definitely worth a visit.
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