The Conran Shop on the Rive Gauche in Paris has remerchandised to remind shoppers of where they are and what France stands for.
Coals to Newcastle, dates to Dubai or maybe pasta to Pisa, but French-themed merchandise to Parisians? On the face of it, what’s been done at the long-serving Conran Shop on the Rive Gauche might not seem the easiest thing to pull off. Yet for a limited period (May 14 to 19) the front of the shop was completely remerchandised to remind shoppers of where they are and what France stands for, at least as far as alcohol and kitchen implements are concerned.
And as well as a faux zinc-topped bar of the kind that is increasingly hard to find in Paris, the space boasted a vintage Citroën delivery van, metal, almost-rusted buckets filled with, yes, lavender and behind the service counter a mural of a large cockerel, among other things.
This was a visual cliché involving everything that you might imagine about rural life in France and a long way removed from the slick environs of this part of the French capital.
For tourists only perhaps? Not really. The shop was filled with people who may not have been local residents but for whom French was certainly the mother tongue.
Things Gallic are as appealing to locals as anybody else, it would appear, and for a short period The Conran Shop was cleaning up.
The notion that when creating a promotion or window display if you want to have impact you need to deploy the exotic or clever is generally true, but it is equally the case that sometimes the answer to what to do next may actually be on your doorstep.
The only caveat in all of this is that if you are going to create a locally based campaign then do it well and that is what The Conran Shop has done.
UK retailers could perhaps consider whether something of the kind should be part of their annual calendar.