Paris is once again becoming the retail capital of the world

New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul... It is in these cities that the major international brands and the most beautiful brands are crowding in to set up stores, boutiques and other places of experience, as we say today. These boxes are intended to strike the minds, to enhance their claws and also obviously to sell, a lot, in consumer basins that are both very dense and especially very rich.

Curiously, Paris has not really been included in this list of world retail capitals until now, despite its assets, in particular a considerable influx of tourists, a world champion luxury industry and a few emblematic department stores. But this was before. Over the past four years, we have seen a fairly spectacular shift. In the last two years alone, LSA has identified more than 70 innovative concepts created in Paris, which we have grouped around five main areas of activity: flagships on the Champs-Élysées; home and home decoration; fashion, beauty and sport; proximity and, finally, specialised food. 74 stores exactly that you will find in these pages, including 6 that will open in the next few days or weeks.

Dyson, at Opéra ; Nike on the Champs ; Canada Goose, rue Royale ; the second apartment Sézane, boulevard des Batignolles ; Nous anti-gaspi, rue du Pré Saint-Gervais, but also Monop' which, fifteen years after waking up the proximity, is refining a new concept that will be unveiled on rue Saint-Dominique, in early October... And again, with a few exceptions, this census is focused only on mass-market business signs. It therefore does not take into account the overflowing creativity of the actors of the restaurant industry, luxury or young designers (in the Marais, the 10th and 11th arrondissements, in Les Batignolles...), as well as certain concept stores that try to follow in the footsteps of the late Colette (La Recyclerie, Footpatrol, Holiday...).

"Just five years ago, the capital was humming nicely, without proposing anything really new," says Philippe de Mareilhac, CEO of Market Value, a renowned commercial architecture firm. But for the past three years, we have been attending a festival of innovations and Paris has become a laboratory that our customers from all over the world come to observe with envy. "The reasons for this spectacular awakening are many. But the starting point is undoubtedly the growing threat of new digital players. "With the rise of e-commerce, there is no need to move," says Christian Dubois, retail manager at Cushman & Wakefield France and a specialist in commercial real estate. We will go, we already go, to the shops out of envy, not out of need and it totally changes the situation. "To get an idea of the danger, all you have to do is go to England, where e-commerce already weighs almost twice as much as in France. Some hard core businesses have paid a high price for their unpreparedness with cascading closures over the past three years, particularly in London, where the city clearly stood out. "French retailers became aware of this four to five years ago," says Frédéric Messian, president of Lonsdale, another renowned store designer. With a first phase focused on design, to which has been added, more recently, a reflection on the offer in the image of what the Parisian drugstore offers... (the concept co-created by Casino and L'Oréal, editor's note): no architectural gesture, basic merchandising, a neutral welcome, the offer really stands out. »

The periphery on the offensive

This new situation has been well understood by the major retailers on the periphery, who had been staring at it for years in the lucrative Parisian market. The Boulangers, Leroy Merlin, Decathlon, E. Leclerc and Saint Maclou have all launched new formats, smaller, more digital and more user-friendly. Leroy Merlin, for example, with his Make it workshop for DIY enthusiasts in the heart of the Marais, his apartment in Les Batignolles and his compact store (5,000 m² nevertheless) on the Place de la Madeleine, has had the luxury of three tests in the heart of Paris in less than two years. But the most radical shift is undoubtedly to be attributed to Ikea. The Swede did not hesitate to open a compact store in the heart of Paris, boulevard de la Madeleine. With its 5,400 m², it is four times smaller than its suburban cousins, has had to cut its offer by more than half and multiply digital tools. Since then, the place has not stopped filling up, and with 10,000 customers per day, aims for 3 million tickets per year.

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