A change in nature

The first railway station bookshops appeared in 1852, giving travellers a way to pass the time before embarking on a long journey. Today, Relay is on four continents. A million travellers walk through the doors of one of its shops at railway stations and airports somewhere in the world every year. We supported the chain’s fundamental transformation in France as its share of its two markets of reference, press and books, dwindled every year.

Broadening the offer

We have repositioned Relay on the central idea of the “traveller’s companion”. Travellers can prepare for a comfortable journey or pick up items they forgot in their last-minute rush to leave home: we’ve broadened the brand’s offer by thinking of everything they might need before starting their trip. For the first three months of our work, we focused only on all the new items that could be online with this new key idea.

Familiar red

Relay still focuses on the press and books, but they are no longer at the shop’s entrance. Relay’s aisles are now stocked with snacks, souvenirs, gifts, luggage and accessories for all our digital objects. Our shops have gone from an all-red colour scheme to light-toned wood crossed by a floor-to-ceiling big red bar that wraps around the checkout counter.

From the 40m2 Relay Today to the 300m2 two-floor flagship store

We accompanied the concept in all its dimensions, from the smallest units, intended for commuters and called Relay Today, to the biggest, such as the flagship shop here at Gare du Nord in Paris.

Two floors: a first at Relay

We’ve concentrated all the fast purchases on the ground floor, while the first floor-where there is a literary café and gifts as well as books can be purchased-entices people to slow down. There’s even a Fauchon counter-the last chance to buy macarons before boarding the Eurostar to London. A circular central staircase connects both floors, with a big, eye-catching chandelier as its centrepiece.

An oversized fresco

For the enjoyment of travellers heading from Paris to London, our designers have taken great pleasure in creating a big fresco around the staircase between the two floors. Relay is back on track to growth even as its two historic markets keep shrinking each year.