30 Mai Store Guide: The Nextdoor & Acte.2 – From Avignon with Love
During our trip to the south of France we also visited the beautiful city of Avignon. The town’s historical center is home to one of not only France’s but Europe’s finest sneaker and fashion boutiques. Tucked away between ancient buildings in an area with many high quality stores – some fashion, some more lifestyle oriented – The Nextdoor and its high-fashion spin-off Acte.2 offer a broad and very exclusive selection of brands from across the globe. The The Nextdoor/Acte.2-crew invited us to pay both stores a visit and to explore their philosophy and secret to customer relationship management which they have refined over the course of the last couple of years.
The Nextdoor – the first chapter of this well-established French institution – is already celebrating it’s ten year anniversary. Visiting the shop and witnessing how passionate the entire team is about their products, it’s easy to grasp that the enthusiasm has caught on with customers. The team don’t so much sell apparel, shoes, sneakers and accessories as they represent this lifestyle in a very authentic way. Take for example Viktor, one of The Nextdoor’s employees. He is really into streetwear and sneakers as was already obvious from his choice of footwear, the Acronym x Nike Lunar Force 1 that day. He explained to us the idea of the store, which was once a ritzy grocery store. They took the old, very decorative interior and adapted its functionality to their needs. Now the store offers premium denim brands like Edwin and BLK DNM, streetwear and mid-fashion apparel and also lifestyle products from Byredo, Master-Piece, Miansai and Super Eyewear.
Viktor’s story is also quite intriguing, as he was once himself a customer at The Nextdoor. Now he works in the store and knows many patrons who come by once or twice a week to check out the latest fashion and streetwear arrivals. With a Nike Quickstrike account and premium releases from New Balance „Made in USA“, adidas and Puma their well-assorted sneaker corner, including a women’s sneaker space, deserves mentioning. We found the latest Trapstar x Puma collab as well as as performance models like the much loved adidas Ultra Boost. Now we understand why many of their customers are such loyal and frequent shoppers. Some even have grown to become real friends during the last years – or even part of the team like Viktor.
The crew’s second store Acte.2 is just around the corner, facing a beautiful little square with many charming cafés and restaurants. As Viktor told us it gets quite crowded here especially during Avignon’s warm spring and summer evenings. From the square it’s nearly impossible to miss Acte.2 as the store is located inside an impressive and old building that was once a public theatre – hence the name Acte.2.
Acte.2 is just the perfect spot to shop high fashion and luxury goods in Avignon. With its wide product range from apparel to shoes and brands like Comme des Garcons, Visvim, Acne, Suicoke, Y-3, Études, Junya Watanabe and Kenzo (just to mention a few) it targets a slightly different clientele. Acte.2 has an Asics „Family & Friends“ and an adidas Consortium account. You can also acquire Kanye’s Yeezy collections here. Returning customers may find their name on a VIP list for some of the most wanted releases – one example of how Acte.2 rewards loyalty. They try to avoid the growing reseller community and instead cater to people with a real passion for their products and who appreciate what they do and represent.
The shop’s clean interior design matches its spectacular outside appearance. It’s also an interesting mix of old and new. Equally divided over two levels, high fashion connoisseurs will most likely find themselves spending more money at Acte 2 than they had anticipated prior to entering the store. We loved the Visvim FBTs and high quality Acne shirts. The helpful staff with their deep knowledge of style and fashion is another benefit – besides all the beautiful things to find. All the Japanese brands that are hard to lay hands on in Europe are worthwhile in themselves. If you’re also an Aesop addict, your search is finally over.
Alban and Gabrielle from Acte.2/The Nextdoor’s creative online team kindly granted us an insightful „behind the scenes“ look into some of their projects. We even discovered one of our old stickers on their working desk. As we were told, the web shop will undergo a major update this summer. The new version will feature better navigation features and a mobile responsive design.
As you will imagine, we couldn’t leave either store without some nice pick ups (yes also a pair of sneakers, guilty). We left with a smile and the feeling that the story of The Nextdoor/Acte.2 has just begun to unfold. You don’t need to live in New York, London or Tokyo to visit some of the currently most stylish and elaborate fashion/sneaker-stores out there.
E. & M.