Gentle Monster’s Disruptive Shanghai Experience

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What exactly should a store selling eyewear look like? In the normal run of things there are tables and shelves of glasses and sunglasses, sometimes there’s a ‘lab’ where lenses are prepared and there will normally be consultation rooms.

What is not typical is a figure seated on a white horse surrounded by mechanical contraptions, a sculpture that looks like an alien and something that could be a homemade diving bell fashioned out of an iron bathtub. This is what the visitor to the Gentle Monster store in downtown Shanghai is confronted with and the look is typical of the offbeat manner in which this Korean retailer, founded in 2011, approaches the business of selling its wares.

It also happens to make this, as is the case with other Gentle Monster stores, a store that is actually quite hard to walk past without at least taking a look. Sometime the most disruptive approach as far as visual merchandising is concerned is the one most likely to put money in the tills.