Swedish fashion retailer H&M has just completed a large-scale renovation of its Parisian flagship store. Located at 1-3 rue La Fayette, in the central Haussmann district, the store was first inaugurated in 2009, and is about to open its doors again after a face-lift which lasted a year and a half. It has grown from three to six levels, from 2,000 to 5,000 m2, and will showcase H&M’s entire product range. FashionNetwork.com was able to visit the store before its public opening, planned for Wednesday June 20 at 11 am, and here is a guided tour through it.
Now the largest H&M store in France, the revamped Parisian flagship is bright and airy throughout, especially beneath the signature skylight. On the ground floor, the store displays the label’s women’s products, with a large area dedicated to beauty. Altogether, womenswear occupies three levels, while menswear is on show on the first basement level. Childrenswear is also well represented, with two levels, the third and fourth, dedicated to it.
The home decoration range, H&M Home, occupies 400 m2 on the second floor, the largest retail area dedicated to the category by H&M in France. While the white walls and the thin, geometric racks fade away behind the products on display, cleverly crafted retail settings abound, with inspirational layouts for H&M Home furniture, and an array of looks and fashion styles centre stage in the ready-to-wear areas.
The real novelty is located on the second floor, home to the eco-sustainable ‘Take Care’ service, installed here for the first time on a permanent basis, after being tested for a few days in Hamburg, as we reported two months ago.
Two professional sewing machines are installed on a dais beneath a large skylight: one for embroidering and applying decorative patches on the customers’ clothes, and the other dedicated to garment repair work. It is H&M’s way of encouraging customers to take better care of their clothes. “It’s an important investment for us,” said Anna Gedda, Director of Sustainability at H&M, adding that “20 to 25% of the ecological impact of apparel is imputable to customers: with ‘Take Care’, we give them tips on how to consume less energy when washing clothes, and how to extend the life of their garments. Depending on the reception here in Paris, we will decide whether to deploy this service in other stores worldwide.”
H&M is celebrating the store’s reopening by also launching an exclusive collection, ‘Bonjour Paris’, available only at this branch and online from June 20. The label’s Creative Director Pernilla Wohlfarht wanted to offer a new take on “the classic clothes of Parisian women, such as the trench coat and the striped navy-style top.”
To boost its omni-channel capabilities, in the autumn H&M will test a new click & collect service at the Haussmann branch and several others in France. In the rue La Fayette store, the service will be based next to the fitting rooms, to encourage customers to try on their clothes and change them immediately if necessary.