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Men'sWeek issue 04/21/2011

PARIS — As Europe’s activewear giants race to clean up their act on the sustainability front, Puma on Wednesday inaugurated its revamped Boulevard de Sébastopol flagship, combining high-tech interactive features with eco-friendly materials for merchandising and decor. Materials included energy-efficient lighting and FSC-certified sustainable wood, while clothes hangers are made from cornstarch.

This story first appeared in the April 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The store’s new look is urban and colorful, however, with exposed concrete walls, video screens, loud comic-inspired wallpaper, puma cat-shaped coat pegs in the changing rooms and clusters of green and red poufs. Old-school metal sports-room lockers used as merchandising units come decorated with sports trophies. Local artist collective 9eme Concept collaborated on the store’s design.

A red joypad wall on the first floor carries 32 iPads loaded with interactive content for customers to play with, such as Puma’s new iPad and iPhone Life Scoreboard application, where users can vote on a flow of open questions pitting two subjects — such as Mac versus PC — against one another, and then check the scores. Certain merchandising units carry iPads on extensible metal arms, which customers can use to access Puma’s full collection on its e-commerce site.

In terms of product, the 2,000-square-foot site’s ground floor groups iconic archive-inspired clothing and footwear lines, like Puma Suede sneakers, T7 track tops and Puma Originals bags. A Puma Black Station unit on the first floor carries merchandise from the brand’s collaborations with designers such as Hussein Chalayan and Alexander McQueen.

Johann Bondu, director of marketing, France, for Puma, said the store’s original design features will be tested in France, which is one of the brand’s top five markets, and possibly roll out to other territories.

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