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A Hermès boutique in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
A fashion design boutique by Christian Lacroix

A boutique (French: [butik]) is a retail shop that deals in high end fashionable clothing or accessories.[1] The word is French for "shop", which derives ultimately from the Ancient Greek ἀποθήκη (apothēkē) "storehouse".[2][3]

The term boutique and also designer refer (with some differences) to both goods and services,[4] which are containing some element that is claimed to justify an extremely high price.

Etymology and usage[edit]

The term boutique entered common English parlance in the late 1960s.[citation needed]

Some multi-outlet businesses (Chain stores) can be referred to as boutiques if they target small, upscale niche markets.[5] Although some boutiques specialize in hand-made items and other unique products, others simply produce T-shirts, stickers, and other fashion accessories in artificially small runs and sell them at high prices.


In the late 1990s, some European retail traders developed the idea of tailoring a shop towards a lifestyle theme, in what they called "concept stores,"[6] which specialized in cross-selling without using separate departments. One of the first concept stores was[citation needed] 10 Corso Como in Milan, Italy, founded in 1990, followed by Colette[7] in Paris and Quartier 206[8] in Berlin. Several well-known American chains such as Tiffany & Co., Urban Outfitters,[9][10] Dash, and The Gap,[11] Australian chain Billabong and, though less common, Lord & Taylor, adapted to the concept store trend after 2000.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "boutique". Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  2. ^ "boutique". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on May 14, 2020.
  3. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert. "ἀποθήκη". A Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus.
  4. ^ "The first impression matters a lot to clients". Nvuvu.com. 2021-04-05.
  5. ^ "Starting a Boutique Business". Jalingo.co. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  6. ^ "New retailers floor customers". Sydney Morning Herald. April 19, 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  7. ^ Katya Foreman. "Colette Unveils Redesigned Store Interior". WWD.
  8. ^ "Quartier 206". unlike.net. Archived from the original on 2008-10-25.
  9. ^ "Urban Outfitters: Dressed For Success". Forbes. December 20, 2007.
  10. ^ Wernick, Ellen (2003). "Urban Outfitters, Inc". International Directory of Company Histories.
  11. ^ "colette and Gap collaborate on new store (Vogue.co.uk)". Vogue UK. Archived from the original on 2008-12-01.

External links[edit]