Places to Window Shop


Newly Discovered Shops in London

Been discovering and re discovering some companies for beauty and home decor lately, who I feel capture and understand the importance of the window shopper customer. By having testers out, customers can try before they buy to see how the product works for them also this also cuts down on retail stores refunding customers.

Love a good window shop. For some, it seems a pointless exercise. Looking through a shop window with no intention of going inside or buying anything. The reason I do it and for some of you also is to see, touch and feel before we commit to parting with our money.

Retail heavily relies on people to window shop, and some encourage it. Display windows are the obvious front facing marketing tool to lure customers in. I remember trying before you buy was practically unheard of in the UK a few years ago and was frowned upon.

Other countries like the USA and Europe for example, have been displaying testers in their drugstores and giving out samples to encourage people to return and buy their products.

As more and more companies are working in this way, I feel less and less self-conscience going into a store with the intention not to buy right there and then.

Here are a few I have visited recently who welcome the window shopper with open arms.

Les Senteurs.

For those who want to try more unusual combinations of scents and fragrances, I’ve discovered Les Senteurs on Elizabeth Street London. When I went to a perfume launch, Les Senteurs encourage the window shopper to try out and combine. A great experience and beautiful perfume packaging too.

SCP Furniture

Been to a few furniture stores which I love to revisit and can window shop for hours in, like furniture stores like Habitat and Anthropologie. What I like to see when I window shop is a wide variety of more exclusive or smaller brands. SCP has a mix of contemporary and quirky products. I will definitely be returning soon.


This little stationery, craft and homeware shop on Camden passage Islington is a great window shoppers dream. Great place for gift ideas for those who like arts and craft. I also like and recently discovered Future & Found, similar to SMUG but has more homeware, books, textiles, and furniture.


More of a re discover the famous Debenhams isn’t the first place I would go to window shop. But lately and after attending the ‘Styling with Erica Davies’ Event at their Oxford Circus store, I have been looking at their makeup/beauty department to check out latest beauty brand’s products on display.

Forest London

I think I have fallen for this place, even though I have only been there once when I went to a recent Candle workshop – ‘A Few Simple Ingredients’. Forest London is a great relaxed environment to browse and test products before you buy.

I love online shopping, it’s convenient and if you are like me, don’t want to battle with the crowds on Oxford street it’s a perfect stress-free way to shop.

But even I have to hold my hands up, I still need to see what I am buying in person.

Depending on your temperament when to window shop is key to have a stress-free experience more pleasurable I suggest the best and worst times to window shop are:

  • Lunchtime – If you have to sacrifice your lunch hour and I can guarantee everyone is doing the same. Not ideal but might be the best way to scan the shops nearby.
  • Weekends – For me, this is the worst time to shop/window shop. The streets are overcrowded. Trying to see shop displays and finding staff who are busy to ask questions will take longer.
  • On holiday – Excluding the main public holidays if you are on holiday you can avoid the peak times to window shop i.e. late morning or early evening I find is best.
  • Evenings – The last thing people want to do after a long day at work is window shop in the evening. But for me, this is the perfect time to do so, as more retail stores recognise people no longer work the traditional 9-5 hours and staying open longer every day gives people more chance to shop when it is more convenient for their customers.

What are your favorite recommended shops you love to window at? What time of the day, week do you prefer to shop/window shop and why? Let me know in the comments below.


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