I can't resist a trip to Merci (111 boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003) when I am in Paris. Maybe you have already heard or even visited the concept store? If not, I highly recommend it. A bright red car will welcome you to Merci as you enter the paved courtyard off the busy Beaumarchais boulevard.
As you step inside the store, you will likely encounter some sort of very cool installation with products from the store displayed in an artful way. This "quasi" exhibit changes throughout the year depending on the season. One time I visited the store in the spring and found even strategically placed umbrellas can become "art". Beyond the foyer of Merci, there are three floors in a loft-like setting of clothing, jewelry, books, furniture and home goods. The store has two cafes and a cantine on the lower level. I usually order a soft boiled egg with toasted baguette slices while enjoying the view of the courtyard in the Used Book cafe.
The basement floor is loaded with stylish and functional home goods.
While the upstairs has more home decor and furniture.
The mezzanine level carries woman's clothing and accessories including French brands such as APC, Isabel Marant and Jerome Dreyfuss.
There is also men's clothing just off the courtyard near the entrance.
Although the clothing tends to be a bit pricey, there are plenty of less expensive items that would make a nice souvenir for yourself or a gift for someone else. In fact, I will buy several of their string friendship bracelets with a "Merci" charm and bring them home to give as thank you gifts.
The store was founded by Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, founders of the Bonpoint (the famous French children's clothing line). The Cohens started Merci as a way to thank their designers and customers and help fund educational projects and development in south-west Madagascar. In a "it is a small world particularly in Paris", Merci sells Annick Goutal perfume who was the late sister of Marie-France. In addition, Merci carries pieces from the Swildens clothing line, which was started by the Cohen's niece, Juliette Wildness. This "small world" continues beyond the walls of Merci to just down the street on boulevard Beaumarchais to Bonton, an adorable clothing store that is owned by Cohen's son Thomas and his wife Irene. And in the opposite direction on the boulevard is Grazie, a delicious pizzeria began by another son of the Cohen's, Julien. He is also responsible for some other hip restaurants in town such as L'altro, Pizza Chic, and and Les Cailloux. Seems to me this family has the Midas touch! I can't wait to see their future endeavors, and I will always make time for a stop at Merci when I am in Paris.