Rent or buy a suitable place for retail shop, make it smaller and more compact, add two tablespoons of exclusivity, a cup of attractive and cozy interior, a handful of strong personality, put all this in a beautiful urban area and you will have a concept store.
So, what is a concept store? It is a shop that sells a carefully curated selection of products that connect to an overarching theme. The problem with terms like this is that they often get misappropriated, first by retailer and than by customers. Suddenly every store is either claiming to be, or described as a concept store.
Actually these stores mix good design and exhibition center, and absolutely follow and express the identity of the brand / owner, which almost always is out of the well-known commercial visions and practices. Behind the worldwide success of the concept stores stands the peculiarity of selling not just unique products, but offering a unique shopping experience – one that will make you come back, again and again. The interior of these attractive urban locations bursts personality from floor to roof, and speaks directly to customers ‘Look at me, I’m unique!’, and giving them the chance to not only buy design items, but enable them to rediscover themselves through another’s design philosophy.
Here are some of the most impressive interiors of concept stores in the world.
Tutze, Harderwijk, Netherlands
Tutze is a concept store focused on offering distinctive products of little-known brands and collection which is not limited to furnishing and home accessories. The inspiring whiteness of the interior is in line with the high quality design goods and affordable prices. The interior just makes you stay here…even live inside for a while…or at least until you get tired of so much white. www.tutze.nl/en
C_29 / Optimist, Euboea
Located in Chalkida on the Greek island of Euboea, the store is named C_29 / Optimist, and was designed with a gallery space in mind. The concept behind the team of 314 Architecture studio who designed the place was to create a ‘blurred boundary’ effect. The courtyard serves as a floating cube squeezed between the two aged stonewalls, and that vision further plays with the visitor’s perspective perceptions.
Аt the heart of the Brompton Design District in London, not far from the famous Victoria and Albert Museum, there is a small trendsetting shop. Opened in 1998, Mint has soon become a main port of call for design enthusiasts, both in Britain and abroad. The secret is in a constant search for new ideas and experimentation with new materials and innovative techniques. This explains how simple, yet so spectacular an outdoor chair by Moroso shares the space with less-known pieces, like the glass lamp by Lasvit, white the fragile glass sculptures by Pia Wustenberg have become a bizarre seating furniture for the visitors. www.mintshop.co.uk
Nannie Inez, Austin
Hard-to-find Scandinavian brands like Hay and Kristina Dam Studioare in abundance at this boutique/concept shop, which recently relocated to a new, bigger location in downtown Austin. Original decorative paintings on the walls of the store divide the space into several zones, as they all offer different types of designer goods. Fresh, creative and surprising at every turn – this is the world of Nani Inez.