Sissy-Boy Department Store, Netherlands


Sissy-Boy is my favorite department store in Holland.   I was recently staying in Maastricht on a European buying trip for shop merchandise, and they have a Sissy-Boy store there.  I had one afternoon to do some shopping, in part for ideas on store layout and design, as well as picking up gifts for family and a  new shirt and cap for me.  The store layout is very imaginative with whimsy and panache without being “trendy.”  The store in Maastricht is on a corner of one of the main shopping squares in the city.  Part of the building is 18thc and part of it is contemporary construction -  imaginative new construction.  I enjoy this store so much because not only can I learn from it but it also feels good to be inside it, with the mix of new, old and timeless.

These are images taken at dusk to show the window displays.  As you can see they use vintage industrial furniture for display and for sale.  They carry a wide variety of merchandise including clothing, garden furniture, housewares,and lighting.


This is the back of the store which is floor to ceiling glass walls.


Interesting window display.  I was lucky enough to be in the city during their big summer sale, all the stores had big sales going on.


Typical Mod window display.  This city is a little less than 500,000 population and yet the retail stores have a very high level of design work in their displays.


This is an image of the back of the building with an inner courtyard.  The second floor deck is to the right where they display the garden furniture and accessories.  The forged iron tie rod ends on the back of the building show the date of  1907.  The facade on the front of the building is much earlier.


The very cool ceiling of the inner courtyard.  It looks like umbrella supports from the ground.


The second floor deck showing some beach chairs with a zinc garden element.


I noticed several shoppers trying out the relaxing looking hammock.


Second floor leading out to the deck.  Hand sewn pillows and comforters, that don’t look like they are from china.


Contemporary clock faces, French refractory table, various chairs, all rather timeless, for new ..not so bad.


First floor housewares display with windows onto the main square.


Checkout on the first floor with exposed brick walls, industrial lighting and a few crystal chandeliers thrown in for sparkle.


So why show so many images of a department store in Holland on an antique shop’s blog?  Here’s why:  It’s cool, refreshing, inspiring, and different from what I have seen at home.  Most retail has become so packaged and watered down that it isn’t even fun to shop.  This is in part why I am in the antiques trade.  Most antique shops are unique interesting places.  Some more so than others.  However, to find a department store that stands out is very rare.   Sissy-Boy is that department store.  It always seems to be busy when I have been there and I can see why.  It’s a fun place to shop.  If you have to buy something new, you might as well enjoy doing it, in surroundings that took care and forethought to create.  Buy antiques, preferably mine, but if you have to buy something new and are visiting Holland, check out the nearest Sissy-Boy.

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