SHOPKEEPERS


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$60
Good stores still exist. In fact, their number
is growing. Well-designed specialty shops
that are inspired by the small manufacturers
and mom-and-pop operations of the
past are now sprouting up. These outlets are
defying e-commerce and anonymous online
shopping with outstanding products, original
interior design, innovative concepts,
and, first and foremost, friendly and competent
customer service.
The Shopkeepers explores this new store
culture through examples such as barber
shops, fish smokeries, tailors, and milliners,
as well as retail spaces specializing in stationery,
hardware, buttons, home décor, or coffeemakers.
They can be found off the beaten
track as well as in the hearts of major cities
from Berlin to Beirut. The book makes it
clear that they are all driven by the passion
that their founders and operators have for
their business ideas and products, whether
vintage eyeglasses, textiles from India or
China, specialty books, soaps, olive oils, or
tropical fish. While some shops are based
on innovative ideas, others are reinterpretations
of traditional family businesses.
The Shopkeepers also introduces some
of the personalities behind these exciting
retail concepts. Many have been running
their shops for years but are only now
being recognized by a new generation of
consumers for their acumen, integrity, and
knowledge ―from shoemakers who truly
understand their craft to culinary experts
who can differentiate between 200 types of
chocolate or cheese with their eyes closed.
Some are such interesting characters that
the chance to interact with them is reason
enough to attract potential customers.
In the stores featured in The Shopkeepers,
the customer is again king and can find a personal,
quality retail experience that the internet
simply cannot provide. The book reminds
us all of the value of exceptional service and
of meticulously selected products which are
built to last and on which one can depend. If
they didn’t exist already, they do now.