A Beverly Hills landmark for 25 years, Hermes, the Parisian fashion accessories retailer, is moving to a new location across Rodeo Drive to accommodate a much larger inventory of merchandise.
The new 18,000-square-foot store, with 10 times as much space as the existing location, will open in August.
It will be the second-largest store in the 36-store Hermes worldwide chain, second only to the original flagship on Faubourg Saint Honore in Paris. The new Beverly Hills store is also being designed to replicate the Paris flagship.
At its present location, with just 1,800 square feet of space, Francine Bardo, vice president of Hermes of Southern California, has had to limit her shopping sprees when she goes to the Paris store.
"When I went to Paris and looked at all of the merchandise, I brought back what I could so that we would have a little bit of everything that the Paris store has," Bardo said.
Each of the Beverly Hills store's 14 metiers, or departments, such as ties, scarves, leather goods and watches, will be expanded. "We will now be able to offer the complete line of men's and women's ready-to-wear apparel as opposed to offering just a few pieces," Bardo said.
The new store's interior will resemble an ancient Greek villa, according to Bardo. Paris achitect Rena Dumas, who has designed all of the Hermes stores, has linked the two retail floors with an atrium and open staircase.
A third-floor gallery will be used for special events and showings. Just as at the Paris store, a fourth-floor garden terrace will serve as an area for shoppers to relax while their packages are being wrapped, according to Bardo.
Hermes will be debuting three boutiques within the store to showcase the offerings of Saint-Louis crystal, Puiforcat silver and John Lobb shoes.
Bardo, who has been with the Beverly Hills store since it opened in 1972, said that the new store will allow Hermes to display its merchandise appropriately and give customers a broader selection from which to choose.
"When we first opened in 1972, we had no idea we would eventually need this much space," Bardo said.
Hermes also plans to open a 6,700-square-foot store at the South Coast Plaza in Orange County later this year.
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