Magma diversifies and Taschen refits

Magma, the designer bookshop chain (pictured), is seeking to grow its portfolio of stores with outlets that sell a different mix of merchandise.

The company, established in 2000, is seeking to launch its first non-bookstore in London later this year, possibly as early as spring, according to Magma co-founder Marc Valli. A second store could also launch in Brighton, although this is yet to be confirmed.

The next generation of stores will retail a more varied mix of items, including unusual design products, toys, stationery, and a selection of fashionwear.

‘We feel most retail in central London has become so corporate that there is not one single place that sells anything that feels remotely creative and stimulating,’ says Valli. ‘So we want to create a shop that sells things that come with ideas.’

Valli and Montse founded Magma in 2000 with the launch of their first store in London’s Covent Garden. A Clerkenwell branch opened a year later, and a further outlet opened in Manchester in 2003. Valli was born in São Paulo, Brazil and moved to Switzerland before arriving in London to study film.

In a separate development, Taschen has confirmed that Philippe Starck will design its flagship store located in London’s Covent Garden. The shop in Neal Street initially opened for trading in December under a temporary design created by Taschen’s in-house team. The shop will close later this year for a total refurbishment and redesign by the French celebrity designer (DW 7 December 2006).

Starck has a long working relationship with Taschen, having designed the German publisher’s stores in Paris and Beverly Hills. The interior design will follow a similar look to its other Starck-designed shops, which feature quirky and extravagant elements.

Latest articles