Zara opens new flagship store on the Champs-Élysées in Paris
Inditex has provided its star brand with a new strategic location in Paris. Described by brand representatives as its "most innovative store in France," the flagship store located at 74 avenue des Champs-Elysées represents one of the most significant openings for the Galician group this year, just one year before the Olympic Games are set to take place in the capital. Located in the space formerly occupied by Galerie du Claridge, the highly anticipated Zara flagship store will open its doors on Friday, April 21.
Zara consolidates the Inditex group's presence on the prestigious commercial avenue, with American brand Levi's, watchmaker Tissot, and beauty giant Sephora as its neighbours. The company already operates two other stores in the area: a premium Massimo Dutti store located at number 116 and another Zara store just a few meters away from the new flagship. The iconic boutique located at number 92 will remain operational, and unlike the newly installed space, will sell the brand's children's collections.
The new Zara flagship store spans 2700 square meters distributed over a single, elongated floor, a design uncommon in other Zara stores. Designed by the brand's in-house architecture team, the store reinterprets the original concept of art galleries and offers a shopping experience that takes customers on a journey through different sophisticated atmospheres. The move is a clear indication of Zara's strategy to elevate the brand's increasingly refined image and positioning.
Upon entering the store, customers are greeted by a spacious digital entrance that leads to a wide area dedicated to women's collections, including the premium SRPLS capsule collection. A 560-square-meter section dedicated to men's fashion follows suit. The use of various high-quality materials and contrasting tones in the decor helps to distinguish the different areas dedicated to each line while also providing subtle transitions between the collections offered.
The women's section features dedicated spaces for shoe and accessory collections, making the new flagship store the first Zara store in France with an area specifically reserved for these products. Additionally, after being introduced physically in the Opèra boutique, the lingerie collections are now displayed in a dedicated area characterised by a minimalist showroom-style design. The men's area, on the other hand, has a central area dedicated to the premium and timeless 'Origins' collection. Perfumes also play a prominent role, enveloping customers on their journey towards the traditional cash registers.
Investing in innovation: automatic checkout systems and digitized fitting rooms
"This is an incredibly important opening for Inditex in France. Zara is always located in the best spots in all the capitals. Here, we will be on one of the most beautiful avenues in the world, surrounded by the best luxury maisons," said the commercial director of the brand in the French market, Diodio Wade, emphasizing that the company's priorities lie in "making the shopping experience increasingly enjoyable."
With this goal in mind, the Spanish brand emphasised its greatest strength: how it integrates the physical and digital channels. QR codes make it easy for customers to locate different sections of the store on a map, while over 40 fitting rooms offer a screen service for assigning and recognising the number of items being tried on to facilitate the flow of traffic. Additionally, 25 stylish second-generation automatic checkouts (an upgrade from the ones tested in Madrid and London) support ten traditional checkouts. The total investment made by the textile group for this innovative space has not been disclosed.
In addition, the new Zara store sets aside designated spaces for both returns and online order pick-ups. Unlike other flagship locations, however, this one does not feature an automated package retrieval system. According to the chain, given the touristy nature of the location (with 50% of customers coming from abroad), the volume of package pick-ups is estimated to be lower than in other stores. While the store located at number 92 on the same avenue already receives between 10,000 and 12,000 daily visitors, Zara expects its new flagship to handle a traffic around 10% higher.
As in all its international stores, the establishment has a 'Store Mode' in its mobile application, a tool that enables customers to reserve fitting rooms and products, check their location and availability, or even purchase and pick up an item within an hour.
Exclusive collections and pastries by Cédric Grolet
To celebrate the opening, the Galician brand will offer several exclusives to its first visitors, ranging from a capsule collection of summer accessories for men and women, to a space where shoppers can enjoy free tastings of the flower-shaped creations by the prestigious French pastry chef, Cédric Grolet.
The Inditex Group currently operates in France through all of its brands: Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, and Zara Home, which recently renovated its Parisian store on Boulevard de la Madeleine.
France has become one of the primary revenue-generating markets for the company presided over by Marta Ortega, behind only Spain and the United States. Today, Inditex boasts an extensive network of 269 physical stores for all its brands in France, including 111 Zara stores alone. The brand has several exciting projects in the pipeline, including the launch of a new store in the Cap3000 shopping centre in Nice and the reopening of its flagship store at 88 rue de Rivoli in Paris, which is presently undergoing renovations and is expected to open in the second half of the year.
In the country, the company employs a total of 11,300 workers, of whom 70% are part of Zara's staff. Meanwhile, the team at the new flagship store consists of 234 individuals.
In the last fiscal year, the Inditex group set sales records with a 17.5% increase to €32.569 billion, and recorded a 7% growth in net profit to €4.130 billion. Meanwhile, Zara led the way in terms of revenue with €23.761 billion in sales. Its commercial network is also the most extensive, with 1,616 stores out of the 4,727 operated by Inditex worldwide.
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