Apple’s long-time plan to open a store in Paris is finally taking shape, after Paris planning officials approved the company’s proposal to locate in the underground Carousel de Louvre shopping mall. As first reported by LaTribune.fr and explained by MacGeneration.com and MacPlus.net, Apple will occupy about 7,770 square-feet formerly occupied by the Lalique and Résonnance stores, and just steps away from the entrance to the famous Louvre Museum. The mall hosts 9 million visitors a year, of which at least 40 percent are tourists. In an unusual move, the store was officially acknowledged by Jasmine Khounnala, Apple’s Paris-based public relations manager, who said, “We are thrilled that our opening project of an Apple Store in the Carrousel du Louvre has been approuved by the (local planning commission).” She added that Apple is “delighted” to offer Paris the experience of Apple retail stores, just as in other countries. This first Paris store could open in Spring 2009.
The Apple store will apparently occupy two spaces, very near the entrance to the museum, shown in this diagram by the upside-down glass pyramid. All of the spaces shown are underground. Notice that the Apple store will not technically be beneath the glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei. The pyramid is actually over an open-space adjacent to the future Apple store.