My boss had the unique opportunity this week to receive a guided walkthrough of Merci, one of his favorite shops in Paris, with co-founder Jean Luc Colonna d’Istria.
Merci is a concept shop in the heart of the historic Haut-Marais district. This historic building was a wallpaper factory for 150 years and features more than 1500 sq. m, complete with a paved courtyard, three floors, and a glass roof. The unique layout allows consumers to flow from room to room, being transported from a coffeehouse/book shop to high-profile fashion, unique housewares to a flower shop.
According to Merci’s website, this concept is called “The One and The Other.” They didn’t want to choose between traditional and modern, local and international, simple or expensive, mass-produced or individually made. Their solution was to bring everything together and present the best of each world in a well-designed fashion.
Another interesting facet of Merci is that 100 percent of the profits are put into a charitable foundation. You can get as much as 30 percent taken off names like Stella McCartney and Yves St Laurent because these creators have joined the team to propose their wares and forget their margins.
Jean Luc Colonna d’Istria now runs the Home department as well as marketing, communication and special events after he was pulled into Marie France Cohen’s idea in 2008 to develop and implement the vision that would become Merci.
Photo Credit: The New York Times
Photo Credit: DesignBoom