Marketplace: Merci in Paris

I was really looking forward to visiting the design store Merci while I was in Paris. One morning I walked from St. Germain to the Haut Marais and found Merci at 111 Blvd Beaumarchais. The trip took me along the Seine, through areas of the Marais and Les Halles. It was such a sunny day and it gave me the perfect excuse to eat one of Paul’s pain au chocolat along the way. (Any excuse is a good excuse!)

Merci is located in a beautiful, large, light-filled historic building, and it is definitely very high on design. It reminded me a bit of Colette (before it got so famous and busy). The various floors showcased everything from tiny dainty rings and necklaces to classic French linen scarves to notebooks and books to furniture to kitchen gadgets. The selection of products also included some lovely leather handbags, place settings, and lighting. Within the space is a restaurant and café that looked pretty cool, but I didn’t feel like hanging out there (probably because I already had my pain au chocolat).

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What I loved most about Merci was the cool ribbon exhibit on the first floor. The exhibit included books of museum-worthy ribbons that weren’t for sale, and boxes of ribbon sample booklets in protective plastic sleeves that were for sale. It was beautiful. I could have spent hours flipping through all the ribbons. I bought a couple of booklets that I’ll frame. That was really enjoyable.

What didn’t I like? Well, I really was expecting to see some beautiful made-in-France or made-in-Europe items, but a large majority of what I picked up was made in China. And priced really high. I don’t know, it just wasn’t for me. I was disappointed. I think I’m also spoiled because of all the time I’ve spent in NYC…I’ve seen quite a few of the items there already and I was looking for some more innovative European collections. Regardless, I feel lucky that I was able to visit Merci in person and I am looking forward to seeing how it evolves. I have no doubt that it’s here to stay.

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