A look at Bazaar Trend lab, Vilvoorde

After writing my post about Hipster Vilvoorde, I promised myself that I would visit and review all colorful businesses in my hometown. First up is Bazaar Trend lab, by far the local venture that is causing the most waves on social media. Both its name and communications fail to get across what Bazaar is exactly. Let’s remedy that, shall we?

Confusing communication

As with all new and innovating concepts, it’s imperative to get the message across very clearly. What is Bazaar Trend lab? My personal rule-of-thumb is the one-sentence criterion. As a marketeer, if you cannot get your premise across in one single sentence, return to the drawing board. In this clickbait-era, your announcement will get lost if you don’t.  On its Facebook page, the new concept defines its mission statement: Bazaar rents out space to enthusiastic pop-uppers and other dealers. Shopping and eating in one location? Possible in our new concept store! Not a clear message to potential shoppers, now is it?

The name doesn’t exactly clarify matters either. Not only does Bazaar mean items of low value in local dialect, the reference to a laboratory and the chemical equipment in the logo is weird, especially as food is being served.

The owners have been trying to clarify the initiative on their personal blogs. Sadly, in lengthy posts and emphasizing that there seems to be a threshold for potential customers to enter the store. These blog posts deincentivize third party bloggers to write about the store and none of them, nor the concept’s home page, pop-up on the first page of a Google search.

Great concept

Let me be absolutely clear. In spite of my feedback about the communication, I do like this concept a lot. In fact, it might be exactly what the local economy needs. With the exact same brands dominating high streets and malls, a city like Vilvoorde needs to stand out. A concept like Bazaar has the potential to give new entrepreneurs access to retail locations that would be out of their reach, otherwise.

So let’s define the concept clearly, once and for all.

Bazaar trend lab is a small department store, offering characterful products and original options for lunch.

Permanent departments

Three entrepreneurs are the back bone of the store and have a permanent presence.

The Girl in my Soup is the lunch bar that is right upfront when you enter. It offers soup, quiches, coffee and quirky specials. It is a nice and quiet location to have a drink and a bite and offers free WiFi. No sandwiches are available, which seems a bit of a lost opportunity.

Gift shop Renée has a changing selection of original and fresh items. Madeline de stoffenmadam supplies recreational tailors and hobby seamstresses with a wide range of cloth.

Ever-changing products

The beauty of Bazaar is that these three stores are complemented by an ever-changing line-up of temporary products. Currently, Kousen & Karton (socks and original paper products), Minipanda (children’s products that really stand out), Fairplace (toys in sustainable materials), Finn Concepts (Scandinavian interior decoration), Madame She She (female apparel), Foodie Market (gourmet food and ingredients), Designed for Cats (accessories for cats), Muno (plants in a jar) and Belgian Pickles (printables) are featured.

Promising combination

The combination of permanent stores that have the potential to turn Bazaar Trend lab into a destination and temporary products to keep the range fresh, might be a match made in heaven. Please don’t mind the imaginative threshold, just stroll in and have a look. It is definitely worth the visit. I might even have a few ideas for products to display there, myself.

More pictures available here.


Bazaar Trend Lab

Toekomststraat 51

1800 Vilvoorde


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