Just like in many parts of the world, Paris is currently seeing a high growth in the amount of international brands that are taking over their local industries. However, for a country that prides itself in its culture and especially its food, we can’t help but wonder how the French are dealing with this influx of foreign brands.
Global Brands in Paris are not necessarily a new thing. In 2013, Le Point released an article that showed how fast food sales surpassed those of traditional “sit down” restaurants in all of France, highlighting the change in consumer behavior in the country. So are these brands taking over local businesses or just feeding into the needs of Parisian consumers? While new intentional brands are always trying to make their way in Paris, here is a look at some of the old and new companies in the Paris market:
In the beginning, the proposal of a 3-storey McDonald’s on one of Paris’ most local streets, Rue Montorgueil sparked huge protests from local residents of the neighborhood. The proposal was at first rejected by the city council but eventually, the international chain won over the issue and has now set up shop in the heart of Paris. This entire thing brings up even more questions about where brands like this fit in within Parisian culture and even the city’s famous architecture.
McDonald’s continues to be the most successful fast food branch in all of France. There are numerous stores all over Paris and shockingly, France remains as the fast food giant’s second largest market after the US. Its continued success over the years shows that it seems to fill a certain need within the French food market.
Starbucks has remained one of the biggest chains in the Paris. There are currently 50 cafés in the entire city and they are always buzzing with people. The coffee shop provides people with both coffee and a place to work and there are often a lot of workers and students there. One of the Starbucks cafés in Paris have even set up shop in the historic district of Opéra where Parisian landmarks like Palais Garnier and Galeries Lafayette are. You can find this one of a kind Starbucks on 3 Boulevard des Capucines.
The famous Italian marketplace and restaurant described as a “megastore” by the New York Times recently opened their first French outlet in Le Marais. The Paris branch is in a 3-storey building that seemingly stocks all that Italian cuisine has to offer: oils, cheese, pasta and more! Its meant to be both fine dining and a place for Parisians to pick up quality Italian goods. Eataly Paris is just an addition to its numerous branches all over the world: USA, Brazil, Japan, Qatar, Russia and more.
France is IKEAs third largest market after Germany and the United States. Due to the company transitioning to meet customers’ changing needs, they have officially opened their first ever city store in the heart of Paris by Madeleine. The store is supposed to cater to city customers who have complained that IKEA is “too far away”. If it is successful, the brand hopes to open more in other stores like it has in the US and in Asia. What do you think the huge blue and yellow IKEA signs do on one of Paris’ most high-end districts?
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While McDonald’s continues to be popular in France, other burger brands like 5 Guys are trying to make it in the French market. Five Guys is yet another one of the American fast food chains that have spread wide in France. Five Guys now has locations in the top spots of the city like the Champs Elysees, Grands Boulevards and Gare du Nord. The international burger chain especially appeals well to the younger generation who are beginning to ditch the traditional baguette sandwich for a cheeseburger.