New Balance opens first store in France
New Balance has planted its first retail flag in France, by opening a first branded store in the heart of Paris. Of course, New Balance had already set up temporary retail solutions in the past, notably in department stores, with its French-market partner, the Royer group.
Now however, with this 155 m2 store on the ground floor of the Forum Des Halles retail area, the label has treated itself to a first, fine permanent showcase. New Balance's latest store is located under the Forum Des Halles' signature Canopy, and presents the brand's running and lifestyle ranges, featuring also a limited edition of the '998 Made in USA' model.
The Paris shop features an interiors concept first introduced in New Balance's latest Shanghai store. It is a design that breaks with the mould of the previous ones, which featured wood or referenced the red-brick architecture of the group's US factories. New Balance's Paris store is roomy and bright, and presents the brand's footwear and apparel in a raw-concrete environment.
The smooth, grey floor reflects the grey flagstone walls. Leading shoe models and apparel sets are presented on low-slung furniture. The store's left side is dedicated to running, and features a selection of the latest footwear models and tech wear. The back end of the store showcases instead the lifestyle range, with the 'Made in USA' and 'Made in UK' lines. On the right side, the lifestyle apparel selection is featured on clothes racks. A giant NB logo has pride of place behind the cash tills, affixed on a ceramic-tile wall typical of the Paris underground.
For the time being, the brand's other lines, including the football range or the skateboarding line Numeric, are not available at the Forum des Halles store. But New Balance expects to offer a broader range at a store approximately twice the size, whose opening has been announced within the Quatre Temps shopping mall at La Défense, in Paris.
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