I love shops in a bonkers allsorts fashion. By that I mean I am as happy to wander around furniture or haberdashery emporiums as I am to gaze at the latest fashions in a boutique or department store. This love of shops doesn’t equate to a love of spending (though naturally I do from time to time).
To me a shop is good, nay maybe even great, if it has most of the following: a pleasant ambiance; management and staff who have a passion for good customer service; enthralling displays that are not overtly commercial; and of course interesting and beautiful stock. So few shops tick all those boxes. I suppose the acid test (for me) of a great shop is that it is somewhere I return to time after time even if I have no need to buy anything there but simply because I find it a thing of beauty in itself.
One such shop is the Bonpoint concept store housed in a 17th century townhouse on Paris’s Rue de Touron (as far as I am aware it’s a few shades different from their other smaller branches). What always draws me into the store are the ethereally pretty window displays. Inside the architecturally pleasing building you wander through a series of room and the many magical displays hit exactly the right aesthetic note as backdrops to the exquisite stock (children’s clothes). I popped into the store when I was in Paris a few weeks ago and found teams of busy creative bees beavering away putting the finishing touches to the Christmas displays. I took a few images of the displays that were completed and decided that I would kill two birds with the one stone and return another day to take more photos and to try the basement Salon du Thé.
Sadly I lost my camera when I was making my way back there (story here) so I didn’t get to take any more pictures other than blurry I phone shots which really don’t do justice to the display teams talents. I did however have an excellent lunch in the Salon du Thé which is downstairs in a pretty vaulted basement.
Of all the photos I have taken since I started blogging the image of a doll on a swing (part of one of the displays) at the top of this post is my all time favourite. I don’t claim that it’s a good photo but to me it has a feel good factor; I cannot help but smile and feel happy when I look at it. Retail therapy at it’s best methinks.
Note: the shop is open from Monday to Saturday but the Salon du Thé is closed on Mondays.
5 responses to “♥ Retail Therapy”
Have you been to the haberdashery dept in Bon Marche? I think it is the best I have seen.
I have Debra it’s excellent; I love looking at the buttons I have never seen so many for sale in the one place.
I think I like that one two… she looks like she’s is glowing, so angelic!
Your description of what ‘makes’ a shop is so apt! It’s how I love to wander towns and shops as well. No subject or goal’s necessary; in fact, sometimes what I love is adventuring in a shop where I’m not quite certain what’s on offer or what it all *does* or something like that.
It’s what I adore about the very old-fashioned emporia in small towns, where they sell everything from basic grocery needs to infant layettes to hamster feed to obscure bits of hardware. You never know what’s around the next corner, but some wizened character lounging by the end of the aisle knows what *every single bit* is and does, and where to find it, without fail. With a dusty wink and a bit of folk remedy advice on top of it.
Just a Smidgen yes she does look angelic.
Kathryn if only there were more of the shops you describe left. What you say evokes memories of community and of less hurried way of life. I like your comment for another reason; I learnt from it the plural of emporium, I think I learn and retain *stuff* best when I come across by chance rather than checking it out.