PARIS — Longchamp is going back to its roots.The French leather goods firm plans to open a new flagship on Paris’ Champs-Élysées, located at number 77, just a stone’s throw from its historic location.“It is something of a return for us, as for a long time our house and our products were found at number 84 on the avenue under the name ‘Dominique Cassegrain’ during the Seventies and Eighties,” said Jean Cassegrain, chief executive officer of the independent, family-run firm, founded by his grandfather in 1948.Cassegrain, who is eager to boost the firm’s international visibility, said the project would give “new impetus to our brand’s history” and “provide Longchamp with an exceptional new embassy.”The company has two other stores in the French capital — on Rue Saint Honoré and Rue du Vieux Colombier — but Cassegrain noted the new venue would be the company’s largest in Europe and allow it to “showcase our ready-to-wear and shoe collections, alongside our entire range of bags and accessories.“It will offer a new face for our Parisian retail experience and guarantee us a unique international prestige,” he added.Spanning more than 5,000 square feet over two levels, the new unit is due to open this fall on the key Parisian tourist avenue, which is said to welcome 100 million visitors every year and recently witnessed a number of openings, including Tiffany & Co. last month.Longchamp’s expansion plans will not stop there.Later this month, the company is slated to set up a new venue in Washington, while Munich and Vienna will follow later this year and early next year, respectively. Longchamp currently operates 275 boutiques worldwide.The firm also revealed plans to triple the size of its logistics center in Segré in Western France to more than a half-million square feet by October.“This investment will make it possible to increase the shipping and storage volumes, as well as optimizing the order processing time frames,” according to the leather goods maker.The company’s turnover, which stood at 462 million euros, or $613.5 million at average exchange, in 2013, is expected to surpass the 500 million euro, or $681.4 million at current exchange, threshold by the end of the year, Cassegrain said.
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