“We thought it would be bigger, but it’s still nice,” remark Ivo and Melissa Leon. Leaving the official Paris 2024 store at Les Halles on Monday April 15, the bags of these Brazilian tourists are well stocked. On vacation in the capital for a week, the couple spent a total of around 250 euros for their children on sweatshirts, t-shirts and key rings bearing the logo with the face of “Marianne”, emblem of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (JOP).

On one of the shelves of this 80 square meter store, located in the heart of Paris, there are dozens of Phryges, the mascots of the Games. There are also official posters, luggage tags, bracelets and even the textile collections of the French Olympic and Paralympic team.

“The flagship products are especially the mascot key rings,” explains Maylis Martin, a saleswoman in the store for eight months, pointing to the products hung along the shelves and sold at 15 euros each – the cheapest model stuffed animals. “Children are crazy about Phryges,” she continues. “And then it’s still a mascot, people want it. » The pins are also very successful. “During the Games, the real sport of fans is to exchange them,” continues Ms. Martin. In his shop, the one that sells best has the image of a pigeon – a somewhat humorous symbol of Paris.

A megastore on the Champs-Elysées

After the launch of the online store at the end of 2021, the Forum des Halles establishment was the first to open its doors, in November 2022. Since then, six others have been inaugurated: the majority are concentrated in Ile- de-France, particularly in the stations and shopping centers of the Louvre and La Défense. There are also two in Lyon.

Other official physical stores will open between now and the JOP in high-traffic locations: one at the Châtelet-Les Halles metro station, Friday April 19, another at Montparnasse station, on April 22. Then on the square in front of the Eiffel Tower during the month of May, as well as in Lille. A traveling device, in the same spirit as the Tour de France shop truck, will also follow the route of the flame on all its stages. At the end of June, one month before the opening of the Games, a 1,000 square meter megastore will open on the Champs-Elysées.

“It’s only going to crescendo. In 2024, we will double sales every month,” assures Edouard Bardon, director in charge of licensing and sales within the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee (Cojop). In comparison with 2023, where sales peaks were linked to specific events, such as back to school or Christmas, “consumption is much more linear since the start of the year. » During the Olympic Games (from July 26 to August 11) and Paralympic Games (from August 28 to September 8), 150 points of sale will be located at the forty competition and celebration sites, in addition to around twenty outside the Site (s.

“Excessively expensive”

Less than three months before the Games, these shops also attract the curious. In the small official store in Hall 2 of Gare de Lyon, which opened in February, many customers are just taking a look. While waiting for his train to Nice, where he lives, Bernard (who did not wish to give his name), a former high-level athlete in handball and athletics, is doing some “spotting”. “I’m going to buy [derivatives] only at the time of the Games, to experience them at the same time,” explains the man who has his tickets for the athletics and football events.

Allison Hoarau, a resident of Nevers, came with the idea of ​​giving her daughters a pen. The stay-at-home mother finally leaves empty-handed: “All the prices are excessively high for a souvenir,” she says with a sigh, pointing to an “I love Paris 2024” key ring for 9.90 euros. “It’s quite expensive but we pay for the logo, I suppose,” says Chantal (who did not wish to give her name). After a weekend in Paris and while waiting for her train to return to Switzerland, the mother decided to please her two sons aged 7 and 12. She spent around fifty euros to buy flocked Paris 2024 t-shirts. “We don’t do a lot of shopping. It was the last opportunity to have a souvenir,” comments the tourist.

“The international clientele is the most receptive because there is a windfall effect and a passing opportunity,” analyzes Edouard Bardon. Even if, as the Games approach, consumption is expanding to the French. “It’s quite diverse. There are as many French people as tourists. Afterwards, it also plays a lot depending on the period,” observes Maylis Martin. On average, the average basket of a customer in these stores amounts to between 40 and 50 euros, according to Cojop figures.

Paris 2024 has set itself the objective of selling two billion products, including more than two million Phryges, in order to exceed the number of soft toys sold during the Tokyo (2021) and London (2012) Olympic Games. All online and physical stores have 750 references, a figure that will double between now and the Games. “For the moment, we have done between 30% and 40% of our activity, that means that there is 60% left. The essential remains to be done,” concludes Edouard Bardon.