You can buy just about everything in Shanghai, from vintage tea tins to contemporary Chinese pottery. The city’s streets are lined with stores enormous, boutique and everything in between. Popping in and out of businesses — particularly through the French Concession — is a great way to spend an afternoon in the city. Here, we’ve rounded up three of Shanghai’s best new shops.
The largest Muji in China opened in Shanghai in December 2015. The massive store touts an inventory of more than 3,700 products. What can you buy here that you won’t find in other Muji outposts? You’ll find white hardside roller luggage, snazzy adult bicycles (and kiddie tricycles) and home goods like blankets from Muji’s little-known sister brand Idée, and re-Muji, an Indigo-dyed recycled clothing label.
You can also customize goods here — essential oils can be mixed to your specifications and tote bags can be screen-printed or embellished with embroidered designs.
A nice bonus for visitors looking for somewhere to take a break is the reading room, which is full of beanbags and has a light-filled café.
Bibliophiles, you’ve been warned: Stepping into bookshop Mix Paper is like falling down the rabbit hole. Shelves are filled with Chinese- and English-language books, both new and classic — and most are reasonably priced. We recently spied D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers for CNY35 (roughly US$5). More contemporary reads come from heavy hitters like Haruki Murakami and Dan Brown.
There’s an impressive selection of coffee table books on classical and modern Western artists and an even better spread of English-language magazines; flip through everything from Golf Digest to the London Review of Books. On the top floor, a projector shows foreign films. There’s also the requisite café, where you can sip single-origin brew as you thumb through a chic Italian photo magazine.
Heco Dai, who was raised in neighboring Zhejiang province and went to Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion, is on a mission to introduce European brands not otherwise found in Shanghai. His shop, with its dark wooden floor, fireplace and wall-mounted deer heads, feels like a small men’s club.
Noos stocks menswear brands like Sanders, a British shoe line dating to the 1870s; handsome shirts from Italian designer Salvatore Piccolo and U.S. label Gitman Brothers; and dapper ties from East London haberdasher Drake’s. Dai, himself quite a natty dresser, is onsite to talk shop and make recommendations.