111 Bd Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris, France
+33 1 42 77 00 33

It isn’t uncommon to see large tour buses idling in front of Merci, one of the city’s most popular home and design shops, as visitors alight, armed with canvas shopping totes and credit cards at the ready. The store’s philanthropic mission brings in droves of both tourists and locals—profits are donated to a charity in Madagascar that aids women and children. It is a veritable feel-good shopping destination. One caveat: The goods for sale don’t come cheap. While high-end homewares and designer duds don’t match all budgets, Merci’s space itself is undeniably cool. When I’m feeling strapped for cash and want the Merci experience, I head to its Used Book Café. Used books, old and new, decorate this cozy library-inspired café where I can read, write, people-watch (and play the guessing game of “What’s in that Merci bag?”), and rejuvenate with a freshly pressed lemonade. With each sip, a feeling of calm washes over me—a type of Zen harder to reach on the bustling streets of Paris. All beverages, hot or cold, are served with a bite-size piece of cake and a smile. Grab one of the mismatched vintage armchairs, the fresh scones with jam, or the American-sized lattes. But on a warm, sun-drenched Paris day, it’s the citronnade between shop-hopping that sets you right.

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Merci Merci

Walking on Blvd Beaumarchais, you can find some real Parisian gems. One of them is Merci, a well known chic, ethnic concept store, hidden at the back of a courtyard in number 111 of the Boulevard.

At the entrance to the store, there is an old red mini car, which now serves as the trade mark of the store. It is a three level store, divided into sections. At the entrance level there is a small cafe with a book store, men’s clothing collection, perfumes and some little items of decorations, based on the concept the store has in mind.

In my latest visit to Merci, the concept was clothes hangers, and the entrance level was filled with all different kinds. On the lower level, there is a restaurant with sittings over looking a small flowery patio, selling kitchenware and greenhouse items, and on the second floor you can find women’s clothing, accessories, vintage and designed furniture, and home accessories. Occasionally, you can find YSL and Stella McCartney’s items as well as local designers. All the profits from the store go to charity. I highly recommend dedicating some time and exploring every corner of this well designed loft; and have a bite of their delicious tart of the day while looking at the greenery outdoors.

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