Phaidon outlet store

by Nick Ramshaw

I’m not the biggest shopper in town, but do enjoy a wander through the Victoria Quarter (in Leeds) and the occasional rummage around the sales. One place I do enjoy shopping is the Designer Outlet just outside York. This is where I bought my wedding suit, from Paul Smith, so I’ll never forget it. When you’re there, if you brave the ranks of discount shoe stores, you’ll be rewarded with some real gems, like Margaret Howell, Daks and The Kooples.

My visit on Saturday was blessed with another fantastic discovery, a Phaidon outlet store. Can you believe that? The outstanding British publisher of arts, culture and design books, with a consistently amazing level of quality, has an outlet store! And it located less than 40 minutes from where I live. Now that’s what I call a find.

The shop is relatively small, but is packed to the ceiling with a combination of photography books, travel guides, art collections and some of the best design books ever written. I picked-up a selection by Alan Fletcher and John Pawson, and could have done some serious damage to the bank account if I hadn’t been dragged out.

The best feature of the store is their ‘Hurt Sale’. This is what others call the bargain bin. These are books that are not in mint condition, and its usually just the cover that has a few marks. Once inside the experience is just as good as always. These titles have been seriously discounted and its such a lovely way to find a new home for them. Its as if they have not had the best of lives so far, but can still be special to the right type of owner. 

What a great way to sell ‘slightly soiled’ stock, in a very human and meaningful way. Great idea by Phaidon and great news for the design community of Yorkshire. Get yourselves along there and help to keep the shop in business, for all of our benefits, including the poor old shabby books.

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