Connect with us

John Ryan

Zara Home’s “Ephemeral Flagship”

Spanish retail group Inditex debuts a “temporary flagship” in Paris




Photography: John Ryan, London

Is it possible for a store to be a pop-up and a flagship at the same time? Instinct would tend to say no as flagships are large and pop-ups, by their very nature, tend to be small(er) and relatively inexpensively equipped.

Yet a quick visit to the Rue du Bac in the very upscale St Germain-des-Prés district in Paris might serve to make you think again. Here, Zara Home, the décor and furnishing retailer from Inditex, has taken over a Belle Epoque building whose entrance is at the corner where two quietly opulent streets meet. It’s just across the way from luxury department store Le Bon Marche, one of the grandes dames of Parisian retail and it takes the place of The Conran Shop, which was on the site for years.

Externally, it has a canopied frontage, and its 17,222-square-foot interior has three floors with the ground floor housing a coffee bar from local operator Dose and, for the opening, a florist. Upstairs, it’s a matter of looking like a very carefully designed Paris apartment in which a warm minimalism is the keynote. All this and it looks as if the merchandise should be in line with the aspirational pricing in the stores that are found across the whole of this area.

Yet it’s not. This is Zara Home and the prices are for those watching the Euros and cents, in spite of appearances. It also happens to have just opened and will only be in place for one year. This has all the hallmarks of a flagship, from the visual merchandising to the building that contains it, but this is a trial. It’s really a pop-up that is intended to represent a Zara Home “toe in the water” in this part of the French capital.

Pop-up flagships can exist and it seems probable that this one will cease to be a pop-up when its year-long tenure comes to an end, if Parisians like it. They almost certainly will.




MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

Promoted Headlines





Most Popular