[High streets etc…] : The Marché St-Germain, Paris

Image 7We regularly remark and relay on this blog or through conversations enthusiastic words regarding food markets. We proposed in a previous post to list places and describe them as a “business model”.
We’ll start today the series with the Marché Saint-Germain in Paris.
This is a covered mixed-use market refurbished and re-opened in the late 90s.
We’re talking here about a perfect mixed-use project, gathering in the same building a food market, a retail gallery (21 shops), a swimming pool, a music academy, a parking; perfect also are the location (Paris 6th district) and the accessibility of this Banimmo’s asset. And yet, I have to say that knowing quite well the area, each visit here is more and more disconcerting and disappointing.
Except for Gap, Somewhere, and Le Phare de la Baleine, a continuous shop turnover confuses the merchandizing positioning. The food market size is progressively decreasing. While Parisians food markets are extending their opening time, the marché Saint-Germain – except the flower shop – is closed in the afternoon… Is the situation better on week-ends? I very much doubt because shops are closed on Sunday, traditional “jour de marché”.
Is this market deaden by the surroundings? Neglected by really demanding customers? I realised that even for Parisians the place is not that famous. On the same scale, the Marché Saint-Honoré (who has inherently no interest) has a biggest notoriety, taking advantage of the “marché” terminology and the public space animation.
The Marché Saint-Germain is “on paper” attractive, have a high potential but fails in its influence and public space activation; the food hall generally energizing spaces can’t supply and reinforce the retail animation.
Even if he business model is perhaps profitable, we expect much better from the urban one…


Sources photos BIV

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