Galeria Melissa’s newly opened Covent Garden shop elevates the experience of shoe shopping with artistically curated in-store design.

A term currently being used to imply that the displays in a store are rather more than, well, displays is ‘carefully curated’ – and in a relatively short period it has been overused to the point of becoming meaningless. Visit the newly opened Galeria Melissa in Covent Garden, however, and it may be possible to reclaim some sense for the phrase.

Melissa really is gallery as much as store and the way in which the plastic ‘jelly’ shoes, the retailer’s stock in trade, are shown off owes a lot to contemporary art. Whether it’s the Perspex cubes containing shoes, or the floor-to-ceiling digital screens that display geometric patterns, the sense for the shopper is of a series of contemporary art installations.

While this shop certainly impresses, it is hard not to wonder whether it is an example of retail marketing rather than the down and dirty business of selling shoes. Well worth a visit, if only to see what the retail extreme of ‘curation’ equates to.