Paddock: the up-and-coming outlet

The Paddock Paris designer outlet, located at the ZAC de l’Horloge development in Romainville, Seine-Saint-Denis, was officially opened at the end of November. Despite initially being fuelled by great ambition, the new shopping centre is not (yet) meeting its objectives.

“Style that won’t break the bank!” 

The new Paddock outlet shopping centre opened its doors on November 27th – eight years after the project was announced by Fiminco. Its slogan? Be stylé, not ruiné ! (‘Style that won’t break the bank!’). The 21,000m2 development now houses a selection of shops and restaurants where the former Paris postal stables once stood, with brands including Adidas, Reebok, Galeries Lafayette, DIM, Delsey, Marie Sixtine and Etam, among others, already on board, along with dining outlets including Mo Chi, Bo Sushi, Joseph & Beer, Dochilak and even IT Trattoria. The site will eventually be home to a total of 75 shops and 12 restaurants.

There is certainly no shortage of interest in the concept, inspired by America’s open malls, although the latter tend to be located in city centres. Factory outlets offering reduced prices all year round are also very much in keeping with current trends.

An up-and-coming shopping centre

75 shops and 12 restaurants, you say? That’s not quite the case at the moment, actually. When I visited in early December there were only about ten stores open, including the 1,200m2 Galeries Lafayette Outlet, the 1,000m2 Adidas/Reebok store, Etam/Undiz and the beautiful Lindt flagship store. Many of the premises were still under construction or empty, making for a disappointing first impression that was further reinforced by the far from glamorous surroundings.

A rapidly changing Romainville

What about the location chosen for the Paddock? Located in Romainville, between Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport, the outlet targets foreign customers from the Middle East and Asia (Indonesia, Korea and, of course, China), but attracting them to this development area won’t be all that easy. It will no doubt take time to see the beneficial effects of the current transformation that the Romainville area is undergoing, with 2,000 new homes also to be created there and Fiminco having just opened Komunuma – heralded as the new leading venue for art in Greater Paris – just a stone’s throw from the Paddock. Then, of course, there is the Parsons School of Design, which will open in September 2020, and the Frac Ile-de-France (Regional Contemporary Art Fund), set to launch in autumn 2020.

The next few months will certainly be key to the future success of both the Paddock and indeed Romainville. Keep an eye on this place…

By Jean-Marc Megnin, Altavia Shoppermind General Manager