French luxury maison Chanel, will open a flagship store in Melbourne, in the former Church of Scientology on Flinders Lane. The Chanel store on the corner of Russell Street and Flinders Lane in the city’s central business district will open to VIP guests on October 31.
The new Chanel store covers 700 square metres as well as four floors of training facilities, offices and a rooftop terrace. The move signals a stronger national presence for the brand. While its operations have been anchored in Sydney since its arrival in 1988, with a flagship store on Castlereagh Street and its corporate headquarters in North Sydney.
Chanel will share the block with luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Zegna and Max Mara, but it is the first major luxury brand to move off Collins Street in favour of Russell Street. “Australia has come from being a relatively small market within the Chanel global market to becoming quite an important one. More people are coming here and that’s being recognised by our Paris headquarters.”
The brand was represented by a sole Sydney shopfront from 1988 until 2001, but the group has opened seven new stores in the past five years stretching from Perth to Brisbane. “The luxury market has definitely prospered in the last few years and I think the thing is its not all about tourism. Tourism does help and Chinese tourism does help, but you also have to have a strong local market,” he said.
In Melbourne, Swiss luxury brand Bally will soon open on the corner of Exhibition and Collins Street, while British menswear retailer Paul Smith opened its first Australian stand-alone store in a heritage building on Collins Street in May.
adapted from The Australian