Paris – Moving away from large, long-tail superstores and wide product ranges, retail is downsizing – going small, local and convenient. In a move away from the flashy flagship stores many high-end brands establish, Japanese label Comme des Garçons has launched two mini stores in the fashion-forward Marais and Abbesses districts of Paris.
Aptly named Pocket Stores, these petite retail spaces are designed to feel like local convenience stores where consumers may pick up a Comme des Garçons t-shirt or bottle of fragrance just as they might a bunch of parsley or a bag of pasta. The Pocket Stores are located in vibrant urban villages populated by Parisian bobos – the bohemian bourgeois – hence reinforcing the comfortable ‘neighbourhood’ feel of the stores while retaining a high-end atmosphere.
The concept is similar to that of The Convenience Store, a shop recently opened in London by designer Andrew Ibi, which is located in an ex-public housing tower block in the Notting Hill neighbourhood.
Focusing retail within urban villages is a new direction for designer fashion labels. What’s more, the Pocket Store is another example of how edited selections within retail are helping to create a more convenient shopping experience for consumers who don’t have the time – nor necessarily the desire – to digest a wide range of products at once.