What Makes A Best Shop?

shopfronts of the world

We are frequently asked what makes a “Best Shop”. So we thought it would be helpful to share a list of the elements we consider when we designate a shop to be one of our favorites or a best shop. We have a lot of favorite shops and the top stores on this list become The Shopkeepers Best Shops. We realize that designating a shop to be “best” is quite a subjective matter. As the saying goes “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. But, to date, we have discovered that lots of people agree with our best shops list! This year we are adding a reader’s choice category so show all your favorite shops some love and vote for them below.

  1. The shopfront
  2. The window displays
  3. The shop interior
  4. The products
  5. The merchandising
  6. The shopkeeper
  7. The branding
  8. The whole package

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The shopfront is important as it’s the first impression a customer has of a shop. Some shops are lucky to have a historic shopfront or vintage signage that adds instant character to a shop. Others creatively enhance the storefront with merchandise or plants and florals adding curbside appeal. The attractiveness of a shopfront is what stops a passerby and draws a customer inside. These are the shops that people love to see on our Instagram feed.


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The window display can set the unique tone of a shop. It can be whimsical and humorous. Enchanting and intriguing. Sparse and intriguing. A window into what awaits the customer instore. It’s each shop’s personal billboard and should be treated as very valuable real estate.


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The shop interior is the next opportunity to engage the customer when they enter the store. This is where the shopkeeper’s vision comes to life captivating the customer. 


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The product on offer is the core of a shop. The shop’s raison d’être. From a general store or a lifestyle store, with a wide range of products, to a specialty store with a singular focus. The quality, character and individuality of the product gives each store its unique personality.


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Merchandising is the magic ingredient that can transform the ordinary to the sublime. The arrangement, placement and presentation of the wares to create moments and stories within the shop space. The unexpected. The poetic. Wonderful merchandising is captivating and enchanting.


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A shopkeeper’s unique vision is what forms a shop, from the shopfront and name, to displays and the branding. The shopkeeper’s vision is what tells the story uniting all the elements into one unique concept. Their expertise and knowledge can inform, educate and welcome you into the space they have created.


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The shop’s name, logo, packaging, website, and social media are all part of the shop’s branding. The branding for the website and social media is very important as very often that is how a shop is first discovered. The “virtual” shopfront is often how a shop is first judged.


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As well as all the specific elements cited above, a best shop is “the whole package”. The extra ingredients that result in a magical experience. The service, atmosphere, lighting, smell, and music all contribute to the overall experience.

See all the Best Shops 2020 HERE

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