The role of The Beach in the Retail Revolution

PARIS – While some retailers might celebrate a landmark anniversary with a storewide sale or perhaps some kind of media party, Parisian boutique Colette brought Snarkitecture’s The Beach to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the Louvre Palace’s western wing.

The interactive installation, originally displayed in 2015 at Washington DC's National Building Museum, is a monochromatic and minimalist, upgraded version of the ballpits of our childhoods.

Guests to the exhibition last month could dive into the ocean of white recyclable plastic balls or laze on one of the deckchairs on the spongiform beach sand – all part of Colette’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

With its three-storey store on rue Saint-Honoré, the boutique aspires to create chance encounters and opportunities for travel and discoveries, with plenty of retail space dedicated to new talents, exclusive collections and pre-releases. The Beach is an extension of this Colette spirit of mixing, matching, and bringing people together, with a (literally) immersive experience that reimagines the natural and cultural attractions of the beach.

‘Physical stores become more relevant to the degree in which they are more physical,’ says Robert Thiemann in Frame #115. ‘Commercial transactions are once more going hand in hand with social gatherings and cultural events, as they did in the 19th century.’

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