H&M store on Champs-Elysées; photo by Barbara Markert
H&M store on Champs-Elysées; photo by Barbara Markert
 

11 Oct. 2010

H&M FINALLY MAKES ITS WAY TO CHAMPS-ELYSÉES

After years of quarrels with the city of Paris and a two-year construction period, H&M finally opened its doors on the world famous and said-to be most beautiful avenue, les Champs Elysées. This opening can be seen as a victory of H&M over the French administration. The city didn’t want to have another big young fashion retailer (after Gap, Zara, Mango) on its famous avenue, and denied the opening. H&M didn’t accept this and rolled it out big time: They hired the most famous French architect, Jean Nouvel, for their design and finally convinced the city with a luxury and sophisticated concept. The store with 2,800 sqm on 88 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, officially was opened on Oct. 6, (for VIPs, a big party was organised two days before), and is one of the most luxurious and spectacular shops of the Swedish retailer.

Jean Nouvel used the light stone of Paris and filled the store with loads of technical innovations. Huge advertisement screens are moving, showing the latest trendy styles of the collection, and also react to costumers for they stop when a costumer is looking at the screen. A multi-color lightening gives the shop a modern and contemporary atmosphere and corresponds with the matt black, metallic furniture. The ambiance somehow resembles the design of metro stations in Paris with large stairs, the ceilings having a vault shape, and metallic-vitreous elevators.

On the ground floor, the pavement of the avenue continues into the shop and guides the clients directly to the ladies’ collections. Another ladies’ collection, the lingerie department and the fitting rooms are located in the basement. On the first floor, customers find the men’s department with fitting rooms that have adjustable mirrors in order to perfectly view your outfit.

250 employees will work at H&M’s new flagship which welcomed its costumers on the first day on a red carpet. Although the opening ceremony was accompanied by a small demonstration against the low salaries of the Swedish retailer, this didn’t hold off the people to visit the store and shop.
Barbara Markert

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