MAN’S WORLD: BHV, the Parisian stronghold for hardware and DIY products, and part of Galeries Lafayette Group, threw a cocktail party on Rue des Archives on Wednesday night, where it has transformed an entire city block with shopping and dining attractions skewed to a male clientele.
“There is a sporty side with Nike and Polo sport on one side of the block at Rue du Temple, and a more luxurious side here at Rue des Archives,” said Alexandre Liot, director of BHV.
The upscale conversion began in December 2014, when Moncler moved in. Fendi, Valentino, Givenchy and Gucci followed — all men-only boutiques with design concepts created especially for BHV, mimicking Parisian apartments typical of the area.
Liot said foot traffic has by far exceeded expectations. “There is a very balanced mix between locals and tourists, which is very reassuring. We have managed to keep our store’s specificity and make the offer evolve. Since we opened BHV Homme eight years ago, we have seen a steady progression, especially in the last three years,” he noted, citing an 8 percent uptick in sales in 2014 and another 9 percent so far this year.
This compares to a rise of 7 percent of the entire department store.
Following its success in men’s, Liot said he is playing with the idea of enriching the women’s wear offering on the ground floor of the main store by adding more high-end brands in the next months.
“But that’s a maybe. And we are only talking about a few brands, because we still want to remain accessible,” the executive assured, noting how on the men’s side, luxury makes up only five boutiques against 484,000 square feet of retail space.