A curated retail experience in Munich

The city of Munich is in southern Germany, near Switzerland, Austria and close enough to the Italians to be called northern Italy by some. The city is a convergence of retail, fashion, outdoor activities, theatre, arts and The Ultimate Driving Experience museum for BMW. Likely due to the proximity to the Alps, the outdoor industry is thriving in this city with two amazing retailers: Sport Schuster and Globetrotter with large city center locations. And, of course, one of the largest outdoor events takes place here and goes by the title ISPO.

What does this city have to offer in the form of retail?

“Curation as a cultural norm” is the phrase that comes to mind. The retailers are from many other places in the world, perhaps more often than any other city in Europe. This hint was given to me by a local who chose to live here for the culture and it became apparent to me after seven days of research and retail visits. The city isn’t Milan, Venice or Paris; it doesn’t have a fashion week or an abundant focus on what most would consider design. Yet, the culture of design has the trio of a large, diverse university, an outdoor enthusiast base and the headquarters of BMW.

The city is a curated design experience.

For those who know Capsule, we are endlessly curious and open to new experiences anywhere we go. When I heard Munich is an elegant blend from many places in the world, it was archived in memory. Then, time and again, the truth came to the surface.

Here are a few examples of this curious finding.

Coco-Mat is a highly refined mattress store solely focused on bedding made from more responsible materials. The new Munich store is absolutely beautiful and had this traveler feeling like a nap. The experience felt like Munich, but after a short nap on the display mattress (kidding), I was awakened to a woman shouting her Greek heritage with unique enthusiasm.

The Aesop brand of beauty products offered a welcome relief when a staff member asked me to wash my hands before trying some new lotion. As an “open to almost anything” individual this wasn’t a hard sell. Then, standing in a retailer with not a single German male, applying hand lotion was also embraced with a smile. The brand designed a moment involving four of the five senses and embedded them in my longterm memory. The aesthetic design was minimal and function forward, yet a contributing element. Then, the departing discovery, this brand too came from another faraway land known as Australia.

The third of this trifecta, is the soon to be utterly famous, Eataly. If you have not had the Eataly experience, then perhaps you’re stuck under a refrigerator in your NYC flat. If you can read this post, you’re likely able to contact someone for help. Please do so now and then proceed immediately to Eataly (there’s a location in NY, Chicago, Tokyo and a few other select cities on the planet). It is the current defining food retail experience on the planet. Repeat: Currently, it is the defining retail food experience to immerse yourself in fully.

So, there you have it. A taste of Munich, curated from the world around this beautiful city.

It is certainly worth the trip and at least worth contacting us for more information on the findings from our retail studies.

We hope you find your way to the base of the Alps soon.

About The Author

Aaron Keller

I am an author, strategist, researcher, cyclist, reader and consummate entrepreneur. When an interesting idea crosses my path, I find any way we can bring it to life. Earning an MBA from the Carlson School and numerous valuable credits at the school of hard knocks, I’ll sit at a boardroom conversation with anyone. Want to talk business strategy, consumer behavior and design? Oh, it’s on.


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