An exclusive Apple Watch mini-store at one of Paris’ fanciest department stores, Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, is reportedly set to close in January.
The report suggests the reason for the closure is poor sales — although it may also reflect a repositioning on Apple’s part concerning where the Apple Watch sits: moving it away from the world of high fashion and toward health-tracking and sport applications.
The number of employees at the mini-store is allegedly being reduced, while the remainder will be redistributed among other local Apple stores.
The Galeries Lafayette Haussmann Apple Watch store received a lot of publicity early on, since its proximity to other luxury brands like Chanel and Hermès (the latter of which enjoys a partnership with Apple) made clear that Apple was trying to reach out to a more of a haute couture audience than usual. Jony Ive, in particular, appeared to relish the opportunity to position the Apple Watch as a luxury item.
With that said, since then it seems that Apple has shifted its ambitions with the Apple Watch. While it remains a stylish product, the Apple Watch Series 2 is very much a sport watch, while Apple ending its $10,000+ Apple Watch Edition line appears to confirm that change in direction.
Whether this was always envisioned as a relatively short-term “pop up store,” or whether Apple has pivoted to better target the people who are actually buying its watches, if you want to check out this upscale Parisian outlet, it sounds like you may want to hurry!