Tag Archives: store

Argos Renewed Digital Store @ Old Street


アーゴス新店舗での買い物は、より簡単&迅速に。まず、商品説明ビデオや消費者のレビュー等が見られるアプリケーションを搭載したiPad、または店内の無料WiFiを使って自分のスマホやタブレットで商品を選ぶ。以前はレジで代金を払った後、味気ない待ち合いスペースでかなり待たされて商品を受け取らなければならなかったけれど、今は商品が用意されると、注文時に自分でインプットした合言葉が呼ばれるので、カウンターで代金支払い・商品受け取りが同時に出来る。また、前もってオンライン、または店内でスマホやタブレットで注文・支払いを済ましておけば、60秒以内に注文品が受け取れるFast Track collection serviceも導入された。



UK’s catalog retail giant, Argos, transformed their analogue style and dull shop space and opened its first of six digital concept stores on Nov 26 near Old Street station. No more laminated catalogues, small pencils and paper slips, and toy-like stock checker machines (see my post for old system) – all are replaced by iPads.

How to shop at new Argos is easier and quicker. Customers use iPads with  applications such as product videos and customer reviews, or personal mobile devices via free in-store WiFi. The collection counter and annoying waiting system has gone as well. Previously, after paid at the cashier, you had to sit down and wait quite some time in a waiting space like a doctor’s office, facing the same way  to the collection counter. Now instead, after ordering via an iPad kiosk and choosing a memorable word to distinguish your order, then till staff use that word to call up the order, allowing shoppers to pay for goods and receive them at the same time. Customers purchasing goods online or via mobile devices can enjoy a new Fast Track collection service, so you can get your purchase within a matter of 60 seconds since you walk in the store, Argos claims.

Now the store looks more high-tech and clean. No pencils or paper slips on the floor. I went to shop at the new store for the first time and was a bit confused, but friendly staffs always offered a helping hand. Much better than before, though I still don’t like their (cheap) logo and color combination of red and light blue…
Until December 24, you can get £5 voucher when you spend £40. Good incentive to try their new digital stores.

argos ad


Foyles Artist Panels @ 107-109 Charing Cross Road

W & G Foyle Ltd、通常略してFoylesフォイルズ)と呼ばれるこの本屋は、William(ウィリアム)とGilbert(ギルバート)のFoyle兄弟によって、1903年に創業した。二人揃って公務員試験に失敗した後、使用済みの教科書を売る事を思いついたところ、たくさんの注文が舞い込み、彼らが家で古本業を始めるきっかけとなった。以前、50kmにも及ぶ本棚の専有面積と書籍の数で世界最大の書店としてギネスに登録されたこともある。

そのFoylesの旗艦店が2014年に、今までの場所である113–119 Charing Cross Roadから、すぐ近くのセントラル・セント・マーチンズ・カレッジ・オブ・アート・アンド・デザインの校舎だった1930年アールデコ様式のビル(107-109 Charing Cross Road)に移転・再オープンすることになった(詳細)。今年創業110年を迎えたFoylesは、ロンドンで開催される国際漫画フェスティバル・Comica festivalから14人のコミック・アーティストにFoylesの歴史を描いた作品を依頼、新店舗予定地を覆う計28枚のパネルが、通行人の目を楽しませている。Foylesのウェブサイトでも、アーティストのプロフィールと共に、フォイル家の台所から始まり、2014年にオープンする新店舗まで、その長い歴史を知ることができる。


W & G Foyle Ltd or simply Foyles, is a book seller, founded by two brothers, William & Gilbert Foyle in 1903. After failing civil service exams, they started to sell their used textbooks and were flooded by offers. This inspired them to launch a second-hand book business from home. Foyles was once listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest bookshop in terms of shelf area (30 miles/50 km) and number of titles on display.

Foyles’ flagship store will be moving to a new location in 2014, just next door from 113–119 Charing Cross Road to 107-109 Charing Cross Road at the 1930s art-deco style former Central St Martins‘ building  (see the details here). Celebrating their 110-year anniversary this year, Foyles has commissioned Britain’s 14 comic artists from the Comica festival to tell the short history of Foyles in 28 panels, which decorate the hoardings around the new site. You can see them at their website with biographies of the artists: starting from its origins in the Foyle kitchen, through its various moves up and down Charing Cross Road, and ending with what the new Foyles building may look like when it opens in 2014.

This is a clever tactic to cover up the ugly construction site and make people interested in their new shop!

John Miersが描いた、自宅台所で創業した1903年当時の様子

Foyles is founded in the Foyle family kitchen in 1903 (illustration by John Miers)

2014年新装オープンを描いた、Rian Hughesの作品(右2枚のパネル)

Artist Rian Hughes visualised the new shop which is expected to open in 2014 (two panels on the right)

Lina Stores Italian Deli @ Brewer Street, SOHO

Lina Storesは、Sexショップに囲まれたソーホーのど真ん中、Brewer Streetで、1930年代よりイタリアの食料品を扱う老舗店。私たちがロンドンに来てから約10年、リトル・イタリーと呼ばれるクラーケンウェルのTerroniGazzano’s、そして今は閉店してしまったエンジェルのOlga storesとともに、Mがイタリアの味が恋しくなる度に足を運ぶ店の一つ。この1、2年の間に、Lina storesはお化粧直しをして、家族経営の飾り気のない食料品店から、ポッシュでレトロかつ洗練されたデリに生まれ変わった。今はビニール袋の代わりに、ペパーミントグリーンと白のストライプの可愛い紙袋を使い、軽食を食べたりエスプレッソを飲める立ち飲み用テーブルも加わった。


Lina Stores has been selling Italian food since 1930s on Brewer Street, in the middle of SOHO’s red-light district. Since we arrived in London about 10 years ago, Lina stores is one of several Italian groceries M shops every now and then when he needs his fix, as well as Terroni and Gazzano’s in Clerkenwell and Angel’s Olga stores which now closed. The store got make-over some time in last 1 or 2 years, and has changed from no-frill family-run grocery to posh deli with retro feel. Now they use cute peppermint green x white striped paper carry bags (you can see it in a photo on the bottom) instead of a plastic bag, and a standing table is added for a quick snack or a cup of espresso. Good job.

You can find almost all basic items for Italian cooking. The deli counters holds gorgeous looking prosciutto and salamis, olives, cheeses, homemade pasta sauces, as well as fresh pastas and ravioli. Floor-to-ceiling cupboards are filled with imported products from Italy such as dried pasta, tin and can food, biscuits and others. As they paid the bill for this nice renovation bill, the price seems to have gone up a bit, but still more reasonable than other British-owned shops for Italian food. We bought a large bag full of food the other day. The bread was very good, but the ravioli with spinach and ricotta smelled like chlorine, and taste was disappointing. This sort of things happened when we bought tortelloni from Gazzano’s and M got stomach problem after eating – I guess filled pasta have to be very fresh, but there is no date of produce and how can we know??

Hotel Chocolat Chocolate Store @ Covent Garden

Hotel Chocolatは、約20年の歴史を持つイギリスのチョコレート専門店のチェーンで、現在イギリスを中心に世界で60店以上の店舗を持ち、その商品は大手デパートのJohn Lewisでも販売されている。エレガントでスタイリッシュなパッケージは贈り物に最適で、私たちも時折ギフト用に買っている(あげるだけで自分たちで食べた事はないのだけれど)。

ある日、Covent Garden店の前を通りかかった時、店頭の「cocoa & coffee bar」の文字を発見。Hotel Chocolatにカフェがあるなんて知らなかったので、興味津々で中に入ってみた。外からはカフェのスペースが見えないけれど、それも当然。想像より広々としているカフェは地下にある。エスプレッソとチョコレートクッキーを注文したが、後からカカオを自社農園で栽培していると知り、ココアを頼めば良かったと少し後悔。コーヒーとクッキーは、可愛い木のトレーにのせられて出てきたのは良かったが、イートインなのに陶器製のカップじゃなく紙コップ出てきたこと、そしてチョコレート専門店にもかかわらずスウィーツ類が少なく(この日は4種類のみ)、しかもクッキーや焼き菓子のみで、チョコレートを贅沢に使った見た目も麗しいケーキがなかったのが、とても残念でした。

Hotel Chocolat is a British chocolatier with 20 years in business. It currently has over 60 own stores mainly in UK but also internationally including USA, and its products are sold in John Lewis stores as well. Its elegant and stylish packaging is perfect for a gift, and we sometimes buy their chocolates as a present (but we have never tried them ourselves!).

We spot the words ‘cocoa & coffee bar’ on the shop front of the Covent Garden store and came inside for curiosity, as I didn’t know Hotel Chocolat has a café as well. It was not easy to find the café space from outside because it is downstairs. The café was more spacious than we expected. We ordered espresso, but I should have ordered cocoa, as it grows cocoa in their own plantation! Coffee was served on cute wooden tray. A little disappointment though was in a paper cup instead of ceramic cup, even for eat-in. Another problem was there were only four kinds of rather boring sweets such as chocolate chip cookies and coconut balls with chocolate on top. They are chocolatier and should make a variety of good looking cakes like in French pâtisserie, using their famous chocolates!

Double espresso, flat white, and chocolate chip cookies

Printers & Stationers Café @ Ezra Street (near Columbia Road)

ハックニーのEzra Streetにある小さなカフェ・Printers & Stationersは、コロンビア・ロード近くでバイクの駐車スペースを探している時に偶然見つけた。名前の表す通り、元々印刷業者と文具商の作業場だったこの店は、フランス産の食料品と主にフランスの小規模ワイナリーのワインを扱う店として2011年6月にオープン。コロンビア・ロードでフラワー・マーケットが開かれる日曜には、アンティークも店頭に並び、ワイン・テイスティングを催すこともある。私たちが行った時は、誰もワインを飲んでいなかったので、てっきりカフェだと思っていたけれど、ウェブサイトを読むと、カフェと言うよりどうやらワイン店/ワインバーらしい。オーナーは、小さい頃お小遣い稼ぎにワイン畑を手伝った事もある、シャンパーニュ地方出身のフランス人。1996年にロンドンに来てから、イギリスでは手に入りにくいシャンパンの輸入ビジネスを始め、2007年にロンドンの南東部のBrockleyにDegustationというフランスの食料品を売る店をオープンした。


開店時間:水〜金曜12〜20時 /土曜午後12〜19時 /日曜はフラワーマーケットの開かれる時間帯

We found this small café, Printers & Stationers on Ezra Street in Hackney, when we were looking for a motorcycle parking. As its name suggests, this warehouse space started as a printers and stationers workshop. Since June 2011, Printers & Stationers sells French grocery & handpicked wines from small and independent producers mainly in France, as well as antiques during the flower market on nearby Columbia Road on Sundays. They also organize wine tastings. The owner is French from Champagne region, who earned some pocket money by working in the vineyard when he was little. Since coming to London in 1996, he started champagne import business and opened a French grocery shop ‘Degustation‘ in 2007 in Brockley. First I called this place a café, but I read the description on their website, it seems more like a wine shop or an enoteca. Anyway, no one was drinking wine when we were there.

The inside of Printers & Stationers filled with bric-a-brac, looks like an old-style grocery shop with living space on the back in French countryside. A cute family dog was sleeping at the back, comfortably in his cozy bed with layers of blanket. The shop offers a selection of cheeses and charcuterie as well as croques monsieur and some sandwiches. We sat outside as it was warm and sunny. There is also a small bar area and the little patio garden inside. M ordered typical French sandwich with ham & cheese. My croques monsieur (bottom photo) was not what I expected (Wikipedia) but normal toastie, but it is OK as it was good.

Opening hours: Wednesday to Friday: 12 – 8pm / Saturday: 12 – 7pm / Sunday: during the market