Recently, a new shop has opened in the Marais calling itself a concept shop as well, although this is an idea I get. Merci, a cavernous space by French standards, is dedicated to all things that would point to a lifestyle with a conscience. An eclectic mix of fashion, both new and vintage, housewares and furnishings provide much for customers to spend time mulling over. There is a perfume bar, as opposed to a water bar, where one purchases perfume and a floral shop run by Christian Tortu who does amazing floral things. All the mulling that you find yourself doing might require a break for lunch which can be found in their inspired street level café. Here, haphazardly arranged tables and chairs find a home among shelves of second hand books in several different languages available for sale. The food is described as well prepared "healthy cuisine"--nothing pretentious like haute H2O.
The store is getting rave reviews for breaking down a huge space into more intimate sections and combining both new and used of everything into an eclectic, artful mix. Here's the real kicker: Merci donates all its proceeds (after breaking even) to a woman's co-op in Madagascar. They are committed to giving back. That is certainly a new twist for Paris as overt philanthropy isn't a part of main stream thought. Raised on the idea that the government will take care of things, the need to solicit funds as we do in the states for specific causes hasn't really caught on. At Merci they are boldly going where others have not, creating the idea of conscientious consumption in Paris.
Now that's a worthwhile concept!
111 boulevard Beaumarchais 75003
Metro: Saint Sebastian Froissart (Line 8)