Hema, the Dutch retailer specialized in everyday objects, has just opened its ninth outlet in France, in the Gare du Nord in Paris, and will open the tenth one in a few days in the new mall of the Gare Saint-Lazare. The chain, which was founded in 1926 in the Netherlands, is continuing its international development it started three years ago in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.
Building on the success of its first French outlets, Hema is now setting foot in locations welcoming a very large number of visitors with the dual objective of strengthening its reputation and of meeting the needs of transiting travellers and commuters. The new Gare du Nord outlet offers nearly 2,000 references on about 750sq ft of retail space, a modest size outlet compared to the 5,000 references displayed in the point of sale of Les Halles, in the centre of Paris, but which has chosen to give a prominent place to beauty which represents 20% of the brand’s sales in France.
Hema which presents itself sometimes as "the H&M of everyday items" offers in particular, complete and relatively large ranges of toiletry and make-up products, only under its own name, like the rest of its range. "Our strength lies in extremely competitive prices combined to a constant concern for product quality and design," explained Peter Antonissen, the Sales Director for France. For example long-wear lipstick is proposed at 3 euros, nail polish at 2.50 euros and the eye shadow case at 3.50 euros, volume mascara at 4 euros and blush at 5.50 euros.
Hema who manages a network of 480 point of sales in the Netherlands, with considerably larger formats than French outlets (4,300 to 10,750 sq ft of retail space) has acquired a considerable experience in transit points in its home country where the chain is very present in stations with commuting traffic and main lines, but also in France at Euralille where 20% of customers are transiting (train or subway/tram). "Stations and high-traffic areas are strategic for Hema, as they represent an important source of income in countries where the brand is operating," said the company in a statement.