t the heart of Le Marais, one of the most historical boroughs in Paris, between La Bastille and Place de la République, there is one of the most en vogue interior design and fashion stores you will possibly find. Merci, which first opened in 2009 as a non profit business, sums up the true soul of this neighbourhood. In fact, Merci is the most distinctive thing Le Marais has to offer: aristocratic, artistic, creative, refined, sociable and even a little bit foodie.
Marie-France Cohen and husband Bernard, have followed their instincts and were successful in building something truly wonderful. They have gathered underneath one roof the best out there in terms of design, fashion and food; the kind of place which was still missing in Paris.
Merci aims to reach the widest possible public. This is a true “concept store”. You will find anything your heart desires: furniture, home wear, cool fashions, beauty products, everything for the outdoors and you can even have a bight to eat during the process. Here, iconic designs rub shoulders with fresh new ideas.
Les mauvaises graines, taken from the French “bad seeds”, was one of Merci's most seen events. During this show, the iconic FIAT 500 parked at the entrance, was replaced by another iconic vehicle: the world famous Citroën van. What's more, international landscape designers invaded the store, even bringing goats and chickens in.
Merci has a new window display every three weeks, always suggesting fresh new ideas. Old classics, functional pieces, handmade objects, new talents: this is the right place to be seen. A great variety of stock, an element of surprise and an extremely efficient team to oil the wheels of this incredible machine: these are just some of the secretes of Merci's success.
A great interest in sustainability is what brings Denmark to Merci. In fact, the city of Copenhagen and its cycling lanes, clean energy and excellent state schools, has inspired a brand new exhibition: TAK, which in Danish means “thanks”, just like Merci does in French. For this event, Daniel Rozensztrcho, Merci's artistic director, has shown his private collection of iconic herring tins, dating from 1860 to the fifties. This is, in fact, striking proof of the vital importance of this type of food in northern Europe.
Merci's scenic installations are definitely one of the highlights of the Parisian social calendar. For example, in occasion of Tolix's anniversary, Merci built an incredible pile of chairs, two floors high to be exact. Tolix's chairs, originally designed in the thirties, have always been an instant hit: incredibly modern, durable, stackable and anti-rust. And this is what makes them perfect for outdoors, bars and even the famous French squares shaded by sycamores.
Another important partnership was had with Found Muji, renowned across the world for his pieces designed for everyday life. In occasion of the Parisian launch of Muji's largest European flagship store, Merci has shown a selection of pieces, batons of top quality design, found in most French homes. These are all objects which have past the test of time and have been redesigned in accordance with Muji's philosophy; humble but at the same time even a little bit noble. This picture is a simple one, however full of lasting memories, very different from the Grande Cuisine.
If you are a real foodie then you must experience all Merci has to offer: Cantine, the restaurant and two cafés. Used book café with over ten thousand second hand books, for you to read over and over. And facing Boulevard Beaumarchais, the Cinéma Café where old films are projected on walls, becoming silent backdrops to your time off. Merci's mood is both creative and welcoming, refined without being too snobby; an elegance which is at the same time intelligent and simple.
111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
Tel + 33 (0) 1 42 77 00 33
Mon - sat: 10:00 - 19:00
Closed on Sundays
Photos: Copyright Courtesy Merci