First off, I'd like to wish the other meg out there in blogland a happy birthday. I got a birthday greeting from Lena that was intended for you!
You know...in the last couple weeks, the feeling around here is the indie retail scene is about to go through a big change especially with talk of folks about to open or looking to open a shop in the Bay Area. I guess the problem with that is now shopowners really have to think about how to stand out from the crowd. As with everything else, it seems all that it takes is a good, solid concept--and above all, a solid commitment to it. Shopowners are equally curators now, especially with the rise of theme-based stores that change their entire look and/or inventory every few months. Stores that have been very successful with that concept are Rose+Radish and Kiosk. (Both Kate and Alisa have such keen curatorial eyes.) With the saturation of design, the proliferation of blogs, and increasingly discerning tastes, it seems like it takes more now to get the indie buying public really excited.
With that in mind...through the Kiosk blog, I learned of this shop in Berlin called Kwikshop. Now, this is a killer store concept and storefront: indie design meets dairy queen style vending. Oh man, they should sell milkshakes, too!
Kwikshop kind of reminds me of that Butter Vending Machine back at the ICFF in 2003. You know, the same design-on-the-go feeling, but with a human face.
Oh, since I seem to be going down this road--talking about high store concepts mixed with low end fast-food selling devices--check out the Blends store at the Lab in Costa Mesa (south of LA). It's a sneaker store with a very simple layout and merchandising plan: the shoes are displayed on recessed shelves cased by glass freezer doors like the ones you'd see at a 7-Eleven convenience store. I didn't have a camera when I went there, but you can see a bit of it through this image below from the Lab's website.
Ok, so...someone's done the Dairy Queen, 7-11, and vending machine thing...I guess all that's missing is a store with a take out menu or a drive-through window...or if we want to be eco-friendly: a bike-through window!
Anyway, I can't wait to see the shops that open up in the coming months. Hopefully they will offer us something that will get us really excited!