PARIS — Bulgari’s new store on the Avenue Georges V here provides a clear indication of how the Roman jeweler wants to grow.
This story first appeared in the October 1, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
With half of the two-level store dedicated to handbags, sunglasses, ties and scarves, accessories play an increasingly important role for the future, said chief executive officer Francesco Trapani.
“This is not only a store,” said Trapani. “It’s a statement about our strategy and products.”
Located across the street from Louis Vuitton, Armani and Hermès, the store, at 15,000 square feet, is Bulgari’s largest in Europe and one of its biggest in the world after Tokyo and Manhattan. Sources estimate the new store could do between $10 million and $15 million in yearly sales.
“By its size and the way it is furnished, it shows the high level of the Bulgari brand,” said Trapani. “We wanted to make an important architectural statement as well as show our accessories.”
Designed by an in-house team, the store occupies a former restaurant. Shoppers enter by way of a rotunda with a soaring atrium and a large chandelier of transparent Venetian glass made by Italian artisans. The floors are marble or wood parquet, with marble or patinated metal walls.
Jewelry and accessories jointly occupy the ground level. A glass staircase takes shoppers to the second floor, where bridal jewelry and more accessories are displayed.
The store is Bulgari’s third stand-alone boutique in Paris after the Place Vendôme and the Avenue Montaigne. Trapani said the address would further elevate the brand’s image, given its proximity to luxury hotels and other key luxury tenants.