Inside the National Geographic London Store

Friend of IT and National Geographic visual communications coordinator Megan Seldon has the latest news on what’s happening at our London store.

The recent opening of the National Geographic flagship store on London’s famed Regent Street has the town abuzz with excitement. Spread across 19,375 square feet and set on three different levels, the store celebrates the Society’s rich history and embraces all aspects of global culture.

One of the first things you’ll notice when you step inside is that the walls throughout the store are bathed in black to capture the vibrant colors of the prints and products featured inside. The Marketplace features a large scope of National Geographic Society products, from the magazines and books to unique handcrafted items from global artisans, like original artifacts from indigenous tribes or hand-stitched camel-hide bags from Kenya.

For avid travelers, the store also offers a travel line that ranges from casual apparel to adventurous expedition gear. Shoppers can give the merchandise a try in the store’s product-testing area, featuring wind gusts and extreme temperature changes–all of which are just part of a typical day in the life of a National Geographic explorer.

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But there’s more than shopping. The store offers public lectures from some of National Geographic’s well-known explorers, photographers, authors and free film screenings in the auditorium. It also displays a rotating showcase of exhibits, whether it’s from the NG Museum, the Channel, magazine, or mission-oriented projects like the Genographic Project.

Feeling inspired by the products in the store? Then check out the second floor travel desk, where shoppers can book NG expeditions and local tours. The long desk, equipped with sleek Mac computers, illuminated globes and leather chairs, is adjacent to the travel and cartographic library.

According to the travel desk manager, Matt Hills, brochures have been “flying off the desks” for “National Geographic Journeys, Africa and the Near East,” a selection of escorted tours through various African countries like Egypt, Kenya, Jordan, Namibia, and Uganda. (Picture private visits to museums and attractions, or camping under the stars in the desert.) Each trip is accompanied by a National Geographic expert–an explorer, conservationist, photographer, naturalist or archaeologist–who can really bring the destination to life.

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And if all of this doesn’t satisfy your National Geographic hunger, a tapas café is awaiting your arrival with slow food, organic food, fair trade and other specialty items.

With a second store recently launched in Singapore, it appears the National Geographic store may become a destination within itself.

The National Geographic London Store, 83-97 Regent Street, London

Photos: Tim Kavanagh