Inditex reshuffles Zara presence in Paris with new boulevard Haussmann opening in 2019
Spanish fast-fashion retailer Zara is busy reorganising its retail network, and is making a move in the French capital. According to FashionNetwork.com sources, Zara will open a new store at number 54 on boulevard Haussmann in Paris in early 2019, on premises formerly occupied by H&M.
The new shop will absorb the Zara store located on the other side of the street, vacating the two floor-premises Zara occupied at numbers 39-41 of the busy Parisian thoroughfare. With this move, which will place the Zara store right next to another Spanish fashion retailer, Mango, the Inditex-owned group will benefit from a larger retail area in which to showcase its men’s and women's collections. Zara will take over the premises from H&M, which left them last year to inaugurate a 6-floor, 5,000-square-metre flagship store at the corner of boulevard Haussmann with rue Lafayette, opened on June 20.
Zara’s new opening on boulevard Haussmann is part of the plan launched by the Galician fast-fashion giant in 2012, which involves replacing older, smaller stores with larger ones, able to feature all of Zara’s different lines. As indicated by the president of Inditex, Pablo Isla, at the presentation of the group’s 2017 results, Inditex will continue with its store merger plan, with 200 of them forecast this year. Last March, the group said that "[outright] closures will be isolated cases," since 90% of the shops that are closing down will be actually absorbed by larger ones. Also, this strategy is expected to help the group achieve its 2020 objectives in terms of sustainability and online/offline business integration, through a review of the eco-efficiency of the group’s facilities and the implementation of an integrated inventory management system using RFID technology.
In Paris, Zara currently operates about 20 stores. To readjust the composition of its stores size-wise, and also to select Parisian locations more appropriate to fast-fashion consumers, in the summer Zara closed down the store in rue Saint-Honoré, a prime luxury shopping destination, where it was replaced by high-end Parisian label Balmain. On the other hand, in mid-August, Zara inaugurated a 4,000-square-metre megastore inside the Evry 2 shopping mall on the outskirts of Paris, matching the size of the largest Zara store in France until then, located in the Opéra district. The XXL Opéra store is located only 400 metres away from the boulevard Haussmann branch.
With the precedent set by the showroom opening last September on the top floor of the newly renovated Zara Vittorio Emanuele store in Milan, the opening of a similar Parisian facility seems a logical next step for the Spanish group on the French market. For its part, Zara’s Swedish competition did the same in Paris, incorporating a showroom into the H&M flagship on Boulevard Haussmann. Change is very much afoot.
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