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September 11, 2017 —

91 is reading… The Creative Shopkeeper

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It’s no secret that we love independent shops here at 91, (I even wrote a book about them!) so when The Creative Shopkeeper by Lucy Johnston arrived, we knew it was going to be right up our street. 


While the book is a practical resource for shop owners, both existing and aspiring, it does not exclude those of us who simply have an interest in independent shops and creative retail design. For me, there is a strong resemblance in the retail world to the publishing world; as high street stores and mainstream magazines struggle, independent stores and magazines are rising up and offering something new and exciting to the high street and the newsstand. 

Gekaapt in Amsterdam

Gekaapt in Amsterdam

Lila B, San Francisco

Lila B, San Francisco

The book highlights 60 stores from around the world, and categorises them into chapters such as ‘navigation and choice’, ‘edit and abundance’ and ‘staging and scenery’. Author Lucy offers interesting comment on the psychology of shopping and the shift in how we now experience the activity. Some of the stores in the book that particularly grabbed my attention were under the ‘journey and discovery’ section, and highlight how shopkeepers have to work harder to give the consumer more, creating an environment that harnesses those elements of journey and discovery. AG Hendy in Hastings on the British south coast and Le Comptoir General in Paris are two case studies which demonstrate how a store can become a destination in it’s own right. 

AG Hendy, Hastings / Photo: Alastair Hendy

AG Hendy, Hastings / Photo: Alastair Hendy

Le Comptoir Général, Paris / Photo: Walt Agency

Le Comptoir Général, Paris / Photo: Walt Agency

Whether you are working in retail, interested in design or simply enjoy discovering new shops wherever you go, this book is a great addition to your bookshelf. 

The Creative Shopkeeper by Lucy Johnston is published by Thames and Hudson and will be released on Friday 14th Sept, pre-order on Amazon now

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