Remembering Apple Carrousel du Louvre, France’s first Apple store
It’s a bittersweet time for Apple followers in Paris. Apple Carrousel du Louvre, the corporate’s first retail retailer in France, simply closed completely after 9 years of service and simply two days of iPhone XR gross sales. Whereas the announcement got here as a disappointment to Parisian vacationers and locals, a brand new retailer expertise is just around the corner. Within the meantime, we’ve taken a nostalgic look again to recollect the well-known retailer’s historical past.

12″ MacBook

Whereas Apple’s earliest shops opened in the USA in 2001, France didn’t obtain its first location till 2009. Rumors circulated for years about the place Apple may construct. In June 2008, Apple lastly confirmed it will assemble a two-story retailer within the Carrousel du Louvre shopping center close to the well-known Louvre Museum.

The shop was positioned in a roundabout way underneath the Louvre Pyramid, however barely to the west. Its stone entrance confronted La Pyramide Inversée, a glass skylight that seems to defy gravity. The design was created by architect I.M. Pei who additionally famously devised the “floating” staircase used on the former NeXT Computer headquarters in Redwood Metropolis, CA.

Apple Carrousel du Louvre simply previous to closing. Photographs courtesy of Arnaud Ducouret.

Like all main shops, Apple developed themed paintings for its Paris opening. In 2009, the fifth-generation iPod nano was a sizzling product, and Apple included its colours and click on wheel into the look of the shop’s imagery. Large banners paying homage to the inverted pyramid’s design was positioned over the shop’s home windows to announce its arrival. Pyramid theming even prolonged to the memento shirts given away to early clients, every packaged in a pyramid-shaped field.

Apple Carrousel du Louvre opened on November 7, 2009 to hundreds of visitors ready in line. In accordance with Apple, 150 staff initially staffed the shop. Some have been assigned to a devoted area for purchasing, activating, and configuring iPhones. Above the shop’s spiral glass staircase, others have been stationed at a novel Genius Bar, L-shaped to suit the room. Some unique staff remained for all 9 years are have been current to clap out the shop at closing.

For the grand opening, accent maker Incase created a particular Carrousel du Louvre Assortment of instances together with a messenger bag, 13” MacBook Professional sleeve, and an iPhone 3GS slider case. All three featured a blue and magenta pyramid sample. The Louvre Museum’s first iPhone app was additionally launched alongside the grand opening. Customers might learn data and examine photographs of the museum’s highlights in a Cowl Stream mode much like the unique iOS Music app.

Photographs: Mark Johnson (Flickr) and Storeteller.de

Other than being Apple’s first retailer in France, the Louvre location was notable for a number of causes. Apple piloted its iPod touch-based checkout system on the retailer, designed to modernize the acquisition expertise. Later, the Apple retailer app would acquire EasyPay, permitting clients to purchase equipment utilizing only a private iOS system. The Paris retailer was additionally certainly one of a really restricted choice to inventory the unique gold Apple Watch Edition at launch in 2015. In 2017, Tim Cook dinner visited with customers and staff on the retailer throughout a trip to France.

In a media briefing shortly after the opening in Paris, former retail SVP Ron Johnson in contrast Apple Carrousel du Louvre’s significance to New York’s fifth Avenue glass dice retailer. On the time, Apple estimated that 40-50 new shops would open within the subsequent 12 months alone. Two days after the briefing, Apple Odysseum turned the corporate’s second store in France, inbuilt a industrial heart in Montpellier.

Photograph: sanakro (Flickr)

Within the 9 years since Apple’s French retail debut, the expertise panorama has modified. The iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch now dominate buyer curiosity and desk area. The very nature of retail has been questioned as gross sales and assist proceed to shift on-line. Carrousel du Louvre’s retailer might not supply the complete expertise clients have come to anticipate.

Inventive and neighborhood themes would be the focus of Apple’s upcoming retailer on Champs-Élysées in Paris when it opens subsequent month. For hundreds of years, the well-known avenue has been identified for its retailers and vibrant ambiance. Sooner or later, maybe Apple’s new retailer will develop into simply as iconic as its predecessor.

Prime Photograph: Gary Allen (Flickr)


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