Paris’s Louvre complex among Printemps’s first openings since 1982
Printemps will open in the Parisian shopping mall, situated in the Louvre’s 1988 I.M Pei extension. The Carousel du Louvre already contains an Apple Store, and much to the chagrin of the French culinary establishment, a branch of McDonalds.
The 2,500 sq m location takes over the space formerly occupied by a Virgin Megastore in the tourist-laden spot (the Louvre is the world’s busiest art museum with nearly 9 million visitors per year). Virgin’s retreat is not entirely unexpected, the group having encountered recent trouble in the country, with five of its stores having closed since 2011.
According to Paris’s Nouvel Observateur magazine, British brand Marks & Spencer, which returned to the French capital in 2011, also wanted to take the space, yet it was the French fashion retailer that ultimately won out. The location is one of the few Parisian malls which are able to offer Sunday shopping, a huge attraction for shops hoping to capture tourist customers.
The second new store will be a 20,000 sq m space on the seafront in Marseille, within the Terrasses du Port mall. Set for a 2014 opening, it will stock men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and beauty.
“Our concept is relaxed luxury,” explained Paolo de Cesare, president and CEO of Printemps, to WWD.
“We thought there was an opportunity to continue to go upmarket” he added.
Printemps has 15 stores in France, but 35 percent of the company’s turnover is provided by the Boulevard Haussmann flagship. Owned from 1992 to 2005 by the PPR group (the luxury portfolio which controls Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Puma, among others), the group was purchased by current bosses the Borletti group (owners of Rinascente) and a consortium led by Deutsche Bank.
Until now Printemps had focused on renovating Haussmann store as well as modernizing stores in Lille, Lyon, Deauville, Parly 2, Rouen and Strasbourg (currently undergoing works). This is the group’s first acquisition since opening a previous store in Marseille in 1982.