Meriful 9


…and another post linked to Shanghai’s Fuzhou Road.This time about a shop called Meriful.

Meriful is quite different to the other shops you’ll find on Fuzhou Road. It is neither a cheap shop selling mainly Chinese-made stationery, nor is it one of those boutique-like shops selling a mix of “cute stuff” and designed, overpriced stationery of questionable quality. Instead you’ll find many items you might find in the online shops of the West, like JetPens, Cult Pens, bureauDIRECT or the less well known Deskstore.

Erasers...

Even though the shop is not too big you will find an incredible choice of exciting items. Just looking at the erasers – there must have been more than 100 different ones. Most items in the shop are imported from Asia, but you will also find European brands, like Rhodia (I bought the orange pad cover in Meriful) or Faber-Castell.

Midori Traveler's Notebooks

 

Meriful sells expensive designer calculators from Canon, but also affordable mechanical pencils from Redcircle (which are essentially fake Rotring pencils) as well as absolutely stunning handmade desk accessories from China (so beautiful, but so expensive).

Stationery by Carl

 

Imported items were usually about 50% more expensive than in their country of origin, but that isn’t too expensive, I thought. Other shops have similar mark-ups for imported stationery.

Carl Decorer Tape Dispenser

 

 

Their selection of items by Carl was amazing. The Decorer desk set (¥158, ~ $25 ; £15.60; €18.80) was unfortunately not available in the colour we liked, so my wife bought one of the Carl Decorer tape dispenser by itself, not as a set. It doesn’t feel as solid as it looks and it is a bit odd that the different materials have different shades of green, but overall it is a very nice tape dispenser.

 

Some of the items I bought in Meriful. The nice leather pen case is made in Korea.

Staff are very friendly and you can even negotiate the price if you find any issue with the products (previously opened, etc). When I asked for a new Rhodia pad cover from their stock they offered me a discount because they didn’t have any unopened ones left.

 


Price: December 2011

Exchange rates: March 2012


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9 thoughts on “Meriful

  • Claire

    Ah stationery heaven, all the varieties, options… Thanks for sharing this!

    The A6 leather-cover notebook on the lower right corner has the number 438 on it. Is that … the price?!

    How do the price of Faber-Castell erasers compare to Europe (can’t tell the brand for those other erasers you purchased)? What about the price and quality of the Redcircle vs Rotring?

    In China one can easily get Noris for 1/2 and Mars Lumograph 100 for 1/3 the Canadian price, yet the Canadian price seems comparable with the German price (at least for the handful of shops I visited). So I wonder where the price advantage comes from. I mean, it’s understandable if these items are made in Asia, but I thought at least Lumograph 100 would be imported from Germany, shouldn’t they cost more?

    The W-clip, floral paper tape and panda are unexpected. hehe

  • kevin

    Nice photos, memm. These modern shops (they are the same here in Australia..’Kikki K’ is a good example and ‘Smiggle’). Kinokuniya, Sydney is about the closest thing to the aisle based store (although it is part of the huge Kinokuniya Bookstore) and not too neat and tidy The big problem with Kinokuniya is they double and triple wrap their price stickers on the item with the most disgusting, almost impossible to remove sticky tape imaginable. Almost everything I have bought from there has left a sticky, horrendous mess on the item…really crazy.

    There’s something missing about all these modern stores though, and that is…got it…it’s the smell of an old style Art Shop, irresistible. It’s the same smell all over the world, at least where I’ve been anyway. It’s like an aphrodisiac to me and the modern clinical store just can’t beat them.

  • Matthias

    Thank you for your nice comments.

    Claire, these are Midori traveler’s notebooks, they are really that expensive.

    Many (most?) FC erasers are made in Malaysia and as far as I can tell they are actually the same erasers, just in a different sleeve. I only have plasticy mechanical pencils from Rotring, so I cannot really comment on the quality difference between Redcircle and Rotring.

    About the pencil prices, if you buy them in bulk in Europe they are cheap, too. My guess is that the individual store just has a smaller profit margin on the pencil. Maybe the distributor sells them cheaper, too. The fact that the bulk price in Europe is cheap shows that the price it sells for in China should be achievable elsewhere, too, e.g. if a big chain wants to sell them near cost price.

    A slightly different matter, stationery from FC (produced in Asia, though) is so cheap in China, as far as I can tell consumers in China pay less than retailers in Europe. I am however not sure how many more years this is sustainable.

    Clip and tape are mine, but my wife bought the Panda stickers in Meriful 8^)

    Kevin,sticky price tags are very annoying, I wonder whether they even lose business because they want to save a few pence on the price tags.

    I don’t really know what smell you are referring to, but I will pay attention next time I visit an Art Shop.

  • Sean

    Kevin: I know *exactly* what you mean. Part industrial solvents, part wood and fabric, part dust from items un-bought for 20 years. Much better, and more potent, than any new car smell, IMO.

    Rivaled only by the welcoming aroma found in a mom-and-pop bakery on some chilly Saturday morning. 🙂

  • Marek

    Could you please send me exact address of this shop? I will be in Shanghai soon and I will be living in a hotel nearby Fuzhou road – so I would like to buy some stuff there.

    thanks,

    Marek

  • Matthias Post author

    Marek, I had a quick look on the web. I think the address is No. 364 Fuzhou Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai. There are many nice stationery shops on FuZhou road, so you should be able to find interesting items other shops on that road, too.

  • Marek

    thank you very much 😉 I have been there several times but I do not remember details (and at that time I was not looking for such a stuff), thanks a lot 😉

  • Matthias Post author

    Marek, I am actually not sure. If it’s not 364 Fuzhou Road, the address might be 622 Fuzhou Road. Sorry, I cannot be sure as there is no address on the receipt and there are many shops with that name in Shanghai.