updated 03:45 pm EDT, Mon September 13, 2010
Shop might not open until 2016
Apple is planning to open another Parisian retail outlet along the Champs Elysées, sources claim. The street is considered one of the world's prime shopping districts, in part because of major tourist attractions like the Arc de Triomphe. Apple has allegedly set its focus on #103, a six-level building built in 1899 for the 1900 Paris Expo, and currently home to an HSBC branch. The property is believed to have been sold earlier this year for $505 million, but HSBC may choose to lease it for several more years.
Retail rent in the area Apple has chosen is believed to average around $830 per square foot annually, twice what the company is paying for the Opéra location elsewhere in Paris. The site is still cheaper than it might otherwise be however, as it is on the south side of the street, and beyond Avenue George V, a distance from the Arc de Triomphe with less foot traffic. It is also comparatively cheap next to Apple's Fifth Avenue outlet in New York City, thought to cost $1,000 or more per square foot.
Establishing an Apple Store at #103 may required preserving some classic architecture. The building was originally a Belle Époque-style luxury hotel, and still sports sculpted figures on its exterior. Apple may have plenty of time however, as sources say the company won't launch until 2016.