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Omni Talk Field Trip: Lisbon, Portugal – The Feeting Room proves even small retailers can show up big

You know those stores where you are instantly wow’d the moment you walk in? Welcome to The Feeting Room, located in Lisbon, Portugal. While shoes are the first statement, my attention was also grabbed by the amazing curation of local and independent brands in home decor, accessories, fragrances, men’s and women’s apparel, electronics, travel and other lifestyle items.

Entering the main door of The Feeting Room

The Feeting Room started in 2014 founded by three Portuguese entrepreneurs and is based in Porto, Portugal. It’s clear from the moment you enter, the products are from local and independent brands. Many speciality retail stores with multiple brands often feel disjointed as they attempt the “store within a store” concept, however The Feeting Room’s cross-category merchandise presentation didn’t feel chaotic, but rather thoughtful and creative. It flowed seamlessly from category to mixed categories and I noticed the non-binary approach of not totally dividing the store into separate sides for men and women. On tables in their in-store coffee cafe are style guides (Style Cheat Sheet) from their style team to inspire customers and also promote their online assortment with shoppable QR codes to browse more on your mobile device while sipping on your “bica”, Portuguese for an espresso in Lisbon.

Their digital presence is something you’d expect from a mass retailer with shoppable Instagram posts, well laid-out website – ecommerce powered by Shopify, and great content outside of the shopping experience. Website content goes deep discussing their brands and trends and other topics impacting the retail industry like sustainability, gender, and world events. Their rich content adds to the online experience and customers feel connected to The Feeting Room outside of the regular shopping cycle. This just goes to show that you don’t need big budgets to get 21st century retail right. You just need to know how the customer shops and how they can interact with your brand when they are not shopping – many of the big players still haven’t figured this out yet. Upon leaving, I assumed it was a medium sized European retailer with about 20 stores because of the quality of merchandising presentation, online experience, and marketing. I was in shock to learn it’s a store with two locations.

As far as the premium service in-store goes, I do wish the staff was more welcoming and active. They remained behind the counter talking to each other and I didn’t see them interact with other shoppers – and I was in there for a long time. I could have caught them on a bad day, but I wonder if they could greet customers when they enter the store and help them discover new and exclusive brands, offer a drink from the cafe, or walk through featured items. It would be a refreshing departure from the typical “Can I help you with anything?” question which usually get’s a “no, I’m just browsing” response. The staff has an opportunity to grow a personal relationship with customers.

Fragrance table with perfumes, candles, and room refreshers

Hats off to the buying team for they definitely know independent retail and how to make a store look amazing! I’m looking forward to visiting the flagship store in Porto in the future. If you are trend shopping in Portugal or Europe, add The Feeting Room to your list!

Click on the photos in the gallery below to see more of The Feeting Room.

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