Apple yesterday announced that the first Apple Store in France will open up for business on Saturday, November 7th. The store is located in the Carrousel du Louvre shopping district, right in the heart of Paris, and will mark the first of 3 planned stores in France. The next planned store will be located in Montepellier and is expected to open up for business on November 14th. Meanwhile, Apple retail guru Ron Johnson noted at media event for the store’s opening that a second Paris store is already being planned near the Opera Garnier, and is scheduled to open sometime next summer.
ifoApplestore writes on the design of the first Apple Store in France:
The architects have taken a very minimalist approach to the underground storefront, essentially just using glass to fill open spaces in the perimeter walls facing a huge, inverted glass triangle that showers the store with soft light. None of the original stone walls were touched, a sign of remarkable restraint, even though the walls only date to the 1980s when the underground shopping center was built. There are no outward changes to the structure or façade that indicates “Apple.” Inside, however, the traditional design emerges: stone floors, wood tables, a spiral glass staircase to a mezzanine level, a large back-lit Apple logo suspended overheard, and lots of stainless steel.
With Apple’s expansion into France well underway, this brings the number of countries with Apple Stores up to 10: France, the U.S., the U.K., Italy, Germany, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, and China.
You can check out Apple’s VP of Retail, Ron Johnson, and Apple’s head of Europe, Pascal Cagni, at the grand opening in the video below. Is it just me, or does Cagni bear a slight resemblance to Joaquin Phoenix?