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Dec 9, 2022
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Desigual strengthens presence in Paris with two strategic store openings

Translated by
Dec 9, 2022

After gradually restructuring its physical retail business over the past few years, Desigual will end 2022 with two new stores in the French capital. This bet on the French market follows the recent store openings of the Spanish fashion brand founded by Thomas Meyer in Singapore and Berlin, and is part of its strategy to selectively expand in "emblematic locations".

Exterior of Desigual's new store in Le Marais - Desigual

The Marais district has seen a number of Spanish brands flock to its streets over the last few weeks. After the recent store openings of Barcelona-based brand Brownie and Galician firm Adolfo Dominguez, the centrally located Parisian district will be welcoming Desigual on Thursday, December 8. The new 93-square-meter boutique will be located in the space previously occupied by the Italian brand Napapijri, at number 3 Rue des Rosiers. 

Only a few days later, on Thursday, December 15, the colourful Spanish brand will be landing on Paris' Rive Gauche with a 273-square-meter store located at 64 rue Bonaparte in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. This is not, however, Desigual's first venture in the area. The brand has already been present on Paris' left bank in the past, with a store located on Boulevard Saint-Michel.

As in its recently opened stores in Singapore and Berlin's Rosenthaler Street, Desigual has opted for medium-sized retail spaces in Paris, incorporating its art gallery-like store concept in these establishments. The open-plan spaces also preserve their Parisian essence and the traditional style of the buildings in which they are located.

"We are continuing to pursue a growth strategy in our key markets through opening stores in emblematic locations, and Paris couldn't be an exception," said Oriol Martinez, Desigual's global commercial director, at the inaugurations.

"With these two stores, we wish to grow closer to our customers and strengthen partnerships with local talent, one of the key tools and competitive advantages we have," he added. As a matter of fact, the brand has been collaborating on exclusive capsule collections with Christian Lacroix for more than a decade. In addition, Desigual recently unveiled its capsule collection with French designer Alphonse Maitrepierre.

From megastores to local boutiques: The evolution of Desigual's strategy in key markets

The company, founded in Barcelona in 1984, entered the French market in 1993 and, throughout the 2000s, managed to establish its presence in the region with a dozen stores in Paris. The stores, which have now been closed, were located in strategic, high-income locations such as Opèra and rue de Rivoli.

The company's French expansion was boosted in 2014 with the entry of the French private equity fund Eurazeo in its capital. This adventure ended four years later when Desigual's founder, Meyer, bought back 10% of his brand's shares. He subsequently revamped Desigual's brand identity and launched a vigorous plan to reorganise his brand's business and its physical retail presence.

France is among the top four markets in terms of sales volume for the company headed by Alberto Ojinaga. Desigual is currently operating in the country through about 30 points of sale. 

The company, which currently employs more than 2,600 people and operates in 109 countries through 10 sales channels, 393 mono-brand stores and six product categories, increased its turnover by 3.4% to 371 million euros last year.

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