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Eataly arrives in France

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Making a store chime with its location is one of the challenges facing retailers everywhere and this only becomes accentuated when an outfit start spreading its wings and heads overseas. This has certainly been the case as far as Eataly, the Italian theme park for food, is concerned. And since Friday it has become a player in France with the opening of its first store, in Paris’ Le Marais.

The 26,000 sq ft space bears all of the Eataly hallmarks, from the fresh mozzarella and cured meat counters to the pizza restaurant on the first floor. Yet this three-floor emporium in the heart of ‘old’ Paris goes quite some way when it comes to making this a part of the Parisian landscape. Practically, this means graphics that read ‘Fraternité’ above the arch that divides one of the store’s cafés from the market on the ground floor, to the café itself where strong coffee and croissants are to the fore.

Also worth noting is the basement. This may be filled with Italian wine and a bar at which to consume the fine vini, but the very fact that it is below ground makes a ‘cave’ of this one, in the French sense. Eataly understands that its customers visit because of its provenance, but that they also want to feel at home.

The Paris branch is a collaboration with Galeries Lafayette.