Lululemon sets up shop on the Champs Elysées
Opening a store on the Champs Elysées is always an important milestone in the history of a company. For Canadian sports brand Lululemon, it represents an exciting milestone in its expansion in the French market, which it entered seven years ago. Located at number 38 of the coveted shopping street, the new store, which is expected to attract tourists and locals alike, will open its doors on Friday, December 2, ahead of the holiday season.
"This opening is a significant step for Lululemon in Paris, an important development in our strategy," Cedric Leparmentier, head of marketing and communications for Lululemon in France since September, told FashionNetwork.com. Indeed, this store opening represents the brand's first flagship store in France and its second in Europe, second only to its flagship store in London.
Sarah Clark, senior vice president of the EMEA region, stressed that this is "a very exciting time for the brand" and that, after these past few successful years in the French market, "it seemed like the perfect time to open a large flagship store, in celebration of the city and our local community, bringing the brand's complete identity to life."
This will be the brand's fifth store in the French capital, joining those in Place du Marché Saint-Honoré, Rue Pavée in the Marais district, Rue Bonaparte and Rue de Sèvres on the city's left bank. Meanwhile, London is home to the company's regional headquarters in Covent Garden and already boasts 12 Lululemon stores.
Neighboring the Foot Locker sports store and the Netflix series Stranger Things' pop-up store, and just a few steps away from the recently opened flagship store of French brand Lacoste, the store is located in a 515-square-meter space previously occupied by the Inditex-owned homeware brand, Zara Home.
The single-storey shop presents Lululemon's collections for men and women, as well as a series of accessories designed for workouts such as yoga and running, including mats in different sizes and thicknesses, socks, underwear and sports bottles.
Among the new products available in the Parisian store is the European launch of the women's footwear line, which until now was only available in the United Kingdom. At the moment, the range consists of three pairs of sneakers and one pair of post-workout flip-flops. The result of a four-year product development process, the pairs are designed to fit women's feet and are only available in Lululemon's physical stores.
The flagship store also features spacious fitting rooms in the back and a dedicated "shopping suite" area offering a more personalized shopping experience, in line with the company's omnichannel strategy. Community, one of the Canadian brand's top priorities, will also be boosted by its local ambassadors: Kewin Bordas, Vince Leyrat and Laura Baker.
In addition, the company has also entered into local partnerships to offer sports classes at venues such as Episod Sports Studios, Dynamo Spin and Temple Noble Art Boxing Club. On Saturday, December 3, two of its ambassadors will be leading a race in the streets of Paris to celebrate the opening of the new store. Throughout the coming years, the store will continue to host events aimed at encouraging the physical activity and personal development of its community.
Lululemon, which has a team of 900 employees in the EMEA region, employs 70 people in France, including its retail staff. In Europe, the Canadian brand currently has 52 directly operated stores and five local language websites in countries such as Spain, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and France.
At the end of the second quarter of the current fiscal year on July 31, Lululemon increased its total revenue by 29% to $1.9 billion (€1.8 billion).
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