Retail Refugees

Marais, Paris
October 7, 2010, 12:43 pm
Filed under: Art/Design, Fashion, Market Info, Retail Events, Stores | Tags: , , , ,

T Magazine’s The Moment blog had an interesting look at Paris’s Marais district today exploring some of the interesting shops, restaurants, and other sites.  Take a look if you have any plans to visit the city of lights anytime in the near future.  Definitely a must see for shopping and eating, the retail scene seems to be among the most innovative in the city.

For a long time now, the Haut Marais has attracted indie boutiques and avant-garde designers. More and more, they’re foreign-born. The American modernist Jack Henry made his home at 25, rue Charlot, which is just down the street from Plagg, Barbara Kurdziel’s shop devoted to Scandinavian fashion, which is just down the street from the Korean designer Moon Young Hee’s whimsical atelier. And just around the corner on rue de Vielle du Temple, the New York design collective Surface to Air opened its new flagship featuring edgy-urbane men’s and women’s fashion. Foreign flair is suddenly everywhere, and for a city that’s infamous for resisting change, it’s a welcome infusion.

The latest international arrival is Koko. After years of talking about it, and then a year of red tape and on-the-ground planning, the New Zealand expat Catherine McMahon is opening Paris’s first and only store devoted to Kiwi goods. McMahon was often complimented when she wore clothes designed by her compatriots, but, she says, “I realized not many people know anything about Kiwi fashion.” When her boutique opens on Sept. 17, it will be her mission to familiarize the locals with names like Karen Walker, Kate Sylvester and Trelise Cooper.

The neighborhood’s worldliness isn’t only the result of boutiques and designers. Merce and the Muse delighted French coffee snobs this summer with its in-house brew, which the American owner went all the way to Denmark’s Coffee Collective to learn. And then there’s Mary Quarta — next door to Merce, both a bread-crumb trail from Koko — an Italian who started scooping up divine cones of Nutella and stracciatella gelato this past season. The French will never lose their taste for espresso at zinc counters and macarons at the salon de thé, but global flavors go down easy, too.

DESCRIPTIONCyrille Weiner The Surface to Air store in Marais.

Maison Martin Margiela E-shop
October 5, 2010, 12:04 pm
Filed under: Fashion, Stores | Tags: , ,

Maison Martin Margiela has followed suit to a new crop of luxury brands with online e-commerce sites as they have launched their new online home where users can purchase a large portion of the current collections…

“In celebration of the anticipated e-boutique, the fashion house is releasing an indigo denim jacket; a much celebrated piece amongst the MMM’s archive. The store, which opened its virtual doors recently, will of course be a hub for fans to discover the latest news and information about the brand and its products, as well as serving as a shop which will allow fans across the globe to purchase their favourite pieces from their own home.” (Hypebeast)

maison martin margiela e boutique 01 Maison Martin Margiela E Boutique Opening

J. Crew X New Balance
October 4, 2010, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Fashion | Tags: , ,

Frank Muytjens’s latest collaboration for J. Crew is with legendary US snearker company, New Balance.  The special edition 1400 sneaks (available at the NYC Liquor Store starting Nov 1) are in two never-before-seen colorways- navy, and moss green suade.  The kicks will be manufactured in NB’s Maine factory.

Tesla Retail
July 13, 2010, 12:02 pm
Filed under: Stores | Tags: , , ,

Tesla, the über cool electric car company, has hired Apple´s former retail guru to design their new showrooms.

Fast Company explains… Lucky for Tesla, then, that it snagged George Blankenship as its vice president of design and store development. Blankenship previously spent nine years working with Apple to amp up its retail strategy. Before that, he opened hundreds of stores each year for the GAP.

Blankenship is charged with helping Tesla expand from its network of 13 showrooms to 20 by the end of the year–and even more beyond that. While Blankenship has never before worked in the auto industry, he sees lots of similarities between his work in clothing and computing and his current position at Tesla. “This is about technology, innovation, and a great pipeline of products that need to be explained to the customer,” he tells “It’s just like when I was at Apple.”

The retail guru wants to do the same thing for Tesla. Whereas traditional auto dealerships are often in mammoth buildings that are set apart from retail districts, Blankenship hopes to put Tesla showrooms right in the thick of popular shopping locations.

But Tesla has a unique challenge: While consumers weren’t that excited about Apple when Blankenship came on board, Tesla practically has more hype than it can handle. The challenge is to make potential customers understand what Tesla is about. And that requires a comprehensive customer experience strategy.

“We want to figure out the best, most comfortable way to create an environment where people aren’t just looking at the car–they see how it’s part of their future,” Blankenship says. It won’t be easy.

America´s Top Stores…
June 8, 2010, 11:13 am
Filed under: Market Info, Stores | Tags: , , ,

Consumer Reports released their annual customer satisfaction results from American retailers with some surprises at the top of the list…

1. Costco (85)
2. Dillard’s (82)
3. Kohl’s (81)
4. JCPenney (80)
5. Target (79)
6. Sam’s Club (78)
7. Sears (77)
8. Macy’s (77)
9. Meijer (77)
10. Walmart (73)

And below are some profiles of the top scorers… (click here to see the profiles of all top retailers)


414 warehouses in 40 states. $50 yearly fee. Costco has a wide range of goods but not a lot in each category. Private-label Kirkland Signature products are claimed to be at least as good as national brands, and all of Costco’s merchandise comes with a money-back guarantee.

How to Save
Costco doesn’t accept manufacturers’ coupons but sometimes distributes its own. Instant rebates are fairly common. Customers with an Executive membership ($100) qualify for 2 percent back on purchases, up to a top rebate of $500 per year. (You’d need to spend $2,500 to recoup the extra $50.)

New LV on Bond Street
May 28, 2010, 12:05 pm
Filed under: Fashion, Stores | Tags: , , , ,

Despite their not completely honest ad campaign, LV created a wave of positive feedback for their latest flagship store on Bond St. in London. “Entered via a bridge over a ‘moat’, its four outrageously luxurious floors include a VIP apartment, a ‘librairie’ of limited edition art and art books, revolving handbag installations and artworks by all the big guns, from Damien Hirst to Gilbert & George.”

(images from Wallpaper via Hypebeast)

“Music Loves You” at Colette
April 22, 2010, 2:09 pm
Filed under: Retail Events, Stores | Tags: , , , ,

A new exhibit kicks off at Colette called “Music Loves You”…   “Discover the films and photos of crowds and fans immortalized by Beck, Drew Carolan, Josh Cheuse, Lenny Kravitz, Nick Zinner, Philip Andelman, Poppy de Villeneuve, Stefano Giovannini. A tribute to all that contribute to make a live concert so special and unforgettable.”   Images below by Karl Hab (via Hypebeast)

colette music loves you recap 12 colette Music Loves You  Exhibition Recap

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colette music loves you recap 6 colette Music Loves You Exhibition  Recap

colette music loves you recap 9 colette Music Loves You Exhibition  Recap