If you like to shop, certainly Paris is THE place to visit, not just for high fashions but also for trendy gifts and eclectic items that are truly unique. There are two concept stores in Paris worth visiting for unique gifts: Merci and Fleux. Some might call what they carry “toys” or “gadgets”, but in fact, they have more than that. It’s all about the designs and these stores also promote art, fashion, and lifestyle items. This is where design is “King” (or “Queen”).
[This is an updated post that was originally written in 2017; however, since then, the store Colette on rue Saint-Honoré has closed, but another store has made a big impact in Paris. Its name is Fleux.]
Le Marais Has Those Concept Stores
Le Marais is located in the area north of the Seine River in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. While many know the area for having the Picasso Museum and Place des Vosges (a great place to picnic), this area is also known to be very hip and trendy, with some of the hottest restaurants, bars, and boutiques.
It is in the Marais where you will find the concept stores, Merci and Fleux. Both carry unique gifts, fashions, and accessories for your wardrobe and home.
Merci opened in 2009 in the Upper Marais, less than a kilometer north of the Bastille. As noted on their website, the original owners, Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, wanted to “bring together the best of the world of fashion, of design, of household goods”. They have succeeded inside and out.
Merci carries beautifully designed items ranging from shoes to office supplies. While I like the inside of Merci, I LOVE the outside of the store! Take a look at the courtyard and the cute red car in front!
Then, when you walk in, you’re presented with a very high ceiling and tables displaying lamps, accessories, paper products such as notebooks, and toys.
There are many levels in the Merci store and it even has a used book store/cafe where I met a friend for coffee. We got there just before it got crowded…..and it can get very crowded quickly as the cafe serves lunch and snacks. My café au lait was nice and big and perfectly made.
It’s hard to say that particular floors are dedicated to certain types of items except for the basement, which has another café and kitchen supplies. Once again, the assortment is unique, colorful, and trendy.
The upstairs has clothing and shoes and the top level has home furnishings, linens, light fixtures, books, and other knick-knacks. It’s fun just browsing and seeing items you might never see at home.
Merci: 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais in the 3rd arr., Paris
Metro: Saint Sebastien Froissart
My other favorite concept store for trendy designs and things to buy is Fleux which opened in 2005 in the Marais. There are many interesting designs to be found. The store is really composed of six individual boutiques on the same block (rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie) and some are connected by a passageway.
Like Merci, Fleux carries some items that can be fairly pricey like this banana lamp that sells for 229 € (about $365). By the way, there are 3 models: Huey, Duey, and Louis.
Their home decor items have striking and modern designs. You’ll also find furniture, kitchenware, and items for work, travel, and the garden. Some are whimsical and some are practical. And some are downright quirky.
Fleux: 39 and 52 Rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie in the 4th arr., Paris
Metro: Hôtel de Ville
Do you have any favorite concept stores In Paris worth visiting for unique gifts? Please share!
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