Corso retail project by Altarea Cogedim to add luxury dimension to Nice, Côte d'Azur shopping

What better location than rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris to present a project focused on the world of luxury? On Tuesday, for the 16th edition of the Paris Summit on Luxury and Design, French real estate developer Altarea Cogedim unveiled its Corso retail project, capturing the attention of the privileged audience gathered in the plush lounge of the Cercle de l'Union Interalliée private club. Frédéric Laloum, Altarea Cogedim's Commercial General Manager and the project’s leader, presented the extension plan for the Cap 3000 shopping centre in Nice, offering a glimpse of what this venue dedicated to luxury brands in the heart of the French Riviera will look like.


Altarea Cogedim presented the Corso project at the Summit on Luxury and Design in Paris - FashionNetwork

Very little had previously been revealed about Altarea Commerce's plans for this truly huge extension to Cap 3000, budgeted at €450 million. The only information available was that the extension, overlooking the sea, would add another 150 stores for a total retail area of 135,000 m2, and that it would host a range of premium retailers. On top of this, Cap 3000, which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary, would benefit from more than 1,600 additional parking places. Figures which were regarded as a heavyweight response to the opening in 2015 of the Polygone Riviera shopping centre only a few miles away, in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

For Cap 3000, it actually means more than doubling the retail area. "With Corso, for the first time, a luxury mall is being built alongside a shopping centre," said Frédéric Laloum. "We have about 50 slots, but we're giving emerging designers the chance to express themselves, we also have art galleries and pop-up areas. Our intention is to update what's on offer on a regular basis."

The new venue wants to attract major luxury names, and has called on Patrick Jouin, of the Jouin Manku studio, to design the structure and its spaces. In addition, Altarea plans to introduce several digital innovations, as well as a range of services, defined as "personalised care", including a concierge office, a VIP entrance and a private jetty, so that Corso can be accessed directly from the sea.

The venue is relying on its seaside location at Saint-Laurent-du-Var, on the outskirts of Nice, as a major asset to attract a luxury clientèle, whether local consumers, business and conference travellers or international tourists.

"We are used to saying that luxury promotes trade," said Jonathan Siboni, CEO of Luxurynsight. "If you look at the French Riviera, it attracts between 11 and 12 million tourists per year, and luxury goods generate a revenue of about €1 billion there. But except for the Croisette in Cannes and for Monte Carlo, luxury retail venues are underdeveloped. Nice seemed interesting, with a wealthy local population and luxurious second homes, 90% of which are owned by foreigners. The luxury market in this area is estimated at between €150 million and €160 million. In my opinion, it could potentially be worth between €300 million and €350 million.”

Arguments like these are clearly targeted to major luxury names, and notably the decision-makers of the brands owned by French groups LVMH and Kering. According to the figures provided by Jonathan Siboni, the presence of LVMH and Kering brands is twice as little in Nice than in Cannes, and three times smaller than in Monte Carlo.

Renovation work for the revamped Cap 3000, with 310 stores and restaurants, began in 2014. It estimates a footfall of 14 million annual visitors, compared to just under 10 million in the past. The opening of the shopping centre's extension, and of Corso, has been pushed back several times, and is now planned for October 2019. Altarea Commerce therefore still has a few months to win over more luxury retailers.

Translated by Nicola Mira

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