Fnac expands at CDG as Virgin exits
|Tuesday, 03 July 2012 12:04|
French electronics retailing giant Fnac last week entered the airside airport channel with a new store format at Paris hub Charles de Gaulle following the decision by French operator LS travel retail to end its partnership with Virgin.
The first Fnac store in the new style – which focuses on customer interactivity with products – was opened on 28 June at CDG’s latest and most impressive retail area to date, the S4 satellite of Terminal 2E. The 100sq m shop is part of a much larger retail offer that spans 6,000sq m in the terminal.
Explaining the switch to Fnac from Virgin, Ambroise Fondeur the CEO of Aelia (the buying and marketing platform of LSTR), tells TRBusiness: “About 80% of our electronics shoppers are French and their preference was for Fnac, especially when it came to high-tech products.” According to Fondeur 11 Virgin stores will be converted to six larger Fnac formats by the second quarter of 2013 with an average size of 60sq m. Five will be Paris CDG locations (terminals E, S4, A, and two at S3) and one at Paris Orly Airport.
The deal with Fnac (part of PPR which also owns Gucci Group and Puma) is a national licensing contract and it has already resulted in a number of railway locations across Paris and France. When asked about possible international development of the partnership Fondeur said: “We are securing the French market first”.
Fnac is active in seven countries and last year it launched a strategic plan called Fnac 2015 in a bid to become the leisure and technological retailer of choice for families by 2015, and to deepen its footprint through new store concepts and store openings. As part of that plan the company says “it will (where appropriate) team up with leading retailers in the market through strategic partnerships”. Such agreements will give Fnac “access to its partners’ expertise, allowing the company to make inroads into new markets”.
PPR claims that the distinguishing feature of the company is its “unequalled selection of books, CDs, DVDs and video games, its extensive range of technological products” (chosen on the basis of work carried out by its test laboratory) and the expertise of its sales force”.