Apple Watch Expands to Retail Locations Outside of Apple Stores in France

Apple today continued the expansion of retail locations that offer the Apple Watch to customers, this time expanding the wearable device's availability in France (via iPhone Addict) [Google Translate]. The company confirmed customers in Paris will be able to purchase the Watch at Fnac locations within the city, starting with just one store alongside the Fnac official website.

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The Fnac retail store -- essentially equivalent to Best Buy -- initially selling the Apple Watch is the one located at the Champs Elysées, and will officially begin to sell the wearable on August 21. Other Fnac stores will begin to offer the Watch "within the next week," and the store's employees will be trained to field questions and concerns from customers regarding Apple's smartwatch.
Fnac will be the first European brand to offer the Apple Watch. Initially, it will be possible to buy it on the site of Fnac and at Fnac Champs Elysées. Other Fnac will have it within the next week, warns the sign. Employees will be trained to answer questions from interested users and thus better guide customers.
As iPhone Addict points out, the availability of the Apple Watch in new retail stores could dramatically increase sales for Apple in France, considering that there are only 18 Apple Stores in the country but over 100 Fnac locations. There was no confirmation of the exact range of models to be sold at Fnac, although it's likely the company will follow Best Buy's footsteps in offering the Apple Watch Sport and mid-tier Apple Watch in both the 38mm and 42mm sizing options alongside multiple Apple-branded bands and third-party accessories.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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58 months ago

It looks more like a Barnes and Noble.

This looks more warm and inviting, while BB are very bright and scream "Buy me!" everywhere I go.

Deffo - FNAC started as a bookshop mainly and expanded into CDs, videos and now gradually into consumer electronics over the past 20 years.
Rating: 5 Votes
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58 months ago
Yes Fnac is much better than bestbuy and you can buy any smartphones unlocked.

It has always been more cultural, around arts and culture.
Rating: 4 Votes
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58 months ago

The Fnac retail store -- essentially equivalent to Best Buy --


It looks more like a Barnes and Noble.

This looks more warm and inviting, while BB are very bright and scream "Buy me!" everywhere I go.
Rating: 3 Votes
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58 months ago
Like others said, FNAC is more like the equivalent of Barnes&Nobles than BestBuy. It has the most extensive book section in France outside of independent libraries, and regularly hosts small cultural events like photo expositions, talks with various artists, etc..
Rating: 3 Votes
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58 months ago

How do you pronounce this store's name? Phonetically is it Eff-Nack? seems like an odd name, but then again it is french. :D:p

I am not completely sure about the french, but we pronounce it as a single word, and I am willing to bet they do, too (even though it's actually an acronym, from “Fédération nationale d'achats des cadres”, we all usually pronounce those as words as long as they don't have too many consonants or vowels in a row).

As for phonetics, we pronounce it like “snack” (but with an f instead of an s, obviously) and with the same a as in “far”. Seeing that both portuguese and french are romance languages, with very similar vowels, it should sound fairly similar. ;)
Rating: 2 Votes
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58 months ago
Is this rate, they will be in Tesco by the end of the year !
Rating: 1 Votes
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58 months ago

How do you pronounce this store's name? Phonetically is it Eff-Nack? seems like an odd name, but then again it is french. :D:p


I am not completely sure about the french, but we pronounce it as a single word, and I am willing to bet they do, too (even though it's actually an acronym, from “Fédération nationale d'achats des cadres”, we all usually pronounce those as words as long as they don't have too many consonants or vowels in a row).

As for phonetics, we pronounce it like “snack” (but with an f instead of an s, obviously) and with the same a as in “far”. Seeing that both portuguese and french are romance languages, with very similar vowels, it should should sound fairly similar. ;)


In France, we pronounce it "ph-nack", "ph" from phone, and "nack" from snack as Mainyehc said :)
Rating: 1 Votes
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58 months ago

The Fnac retail store -- essentially equivalent to Best Buy


Nope. I've never been to BestBuy but, judging from the photos and reports I've read about it (including an Onion article :p ), that store is more akin to the portuguese Worten megastore: sparsely populated by fully uniformed, clueless kids, with rows upon rows of TVs and appliances (AFAIK, in Portugal at least, Fnac doesn't sell appliances…), bargain-bins of really bad DVDs and games, ravaged display units, locked cabinets, etc.

It has always been more cultural, around arts and culture.


This. All full-sized Fnac locations have a cafe/theatre, regularly featuring live concerts, book launches and exhibitions, which are fairly popular. For all its shortcomings and even considering the chain put a lot of small and medium-sized local bookstores out of business (save for a few historical chains with landmark locations like Bertrand in Lisbon – the Guiness record holder of world's oldest continually operating bookstore – and Lello & Irmão in Porto – possibly the prettiest in the world and a huge hit with tourists, to the point they are considering charging a fee to visitors who don't buy anything), or the more mainstream but seemingly indestructible Almedina, it is a rather appreciated store among the literati and gadget-freaks alike.

I, for one, buy all my Apple gear (except for smaller accessories and, obviously, second-hand Macs) and test all of its competitors' wares there. Also, when the prices and/or delivery deadlines feel right, I am no stranger to their book, CD and DVD sections…

The staff is knowledgable enough, they do not seem too oppressed (they are certainly afforded – nay, encouraged to, even! – a degree of freedom and self-expression comparable only to the one found on Apple Retail – some members even have visible tattoos and body piercings… Isn't that awesome?! –, quite unlike the more generic and super uptight spanish department store El Corte Inglés, which dictates even the employees' hairstyles and nail colours not unlike some infamous middle-eastern airlines :/ ) and are usually easy-going (except maybe during the hectic “client days”, when everything is sold at a 10% discount, but hey, on those occasions people usually know what they want beforehand anyway).

Deffo - FNAC started as a bookshop mainly and expanded into CDs, videos and now gradually into consumer electronics over the past 20 years.


I thought it started off immediately as a book and record shop, then expanding to hi-fi audio and photography, and very quickly taking the electronics market by storm (I remember seeing Macs there as far back as 2002, and they were one of the only locations that showcased them for many years until a few other premium resellers popped up, and still rank pretty high as they all feature the store-within-a-store concept), but hey, maybe I was wrong.

What's funnier here in Lisbon is watching its most recent ongoing metamorphosis. A few local art/office suppliers already filed for bankruptcy, others are on the brink of failure, and the few successful ones consolidated; Fnac, being the “forward-thinking” vampires they are and feeling threatened first by the iT[M]S and now all the streaming services (and, I'm guessing, regular Amazon, Kindle and iBooks stores, too), decided to take a bite off of that market and started selling Moleskines and designer-bound writing implements, just to name a few staples (pun intended). They have also turned to musical instruments, memorabilia/merchandising and even collectibles… And, picture it… toys! Physical toys, like LEGO sets (though they did dip their toes in the water first with the adult Architecture series). One of their sections looks like a high-end mini Toys'R'Us, really. Nevermind the fact kids these days would rather play with iPad apps and consoles. :p Luckily for them, their store is rather popular with Macheads, gamers and gaget lovers in general… Also, their affluent clientele is more likely to push their kids to also play with physical stuff instead of just with glass (I know I would if I were a parent, though I would also nudge them towards robotics), so maybe they are up to something.

Their recent strategy (or lack thereof) bears all the markings of fear (their core, original markets are contracting, after all) and possibly lack of vision (change is hard, especially if it comes about accompanied/caused by an identity crisis), but we also have to consider they collect tons of client data with their fidelity cards (which I loathe in principle, but still use for the discounts in electronics). They are firing in all directions, and their hitherto coherent and almost IKEA-like structure with a well-defined showroom path is turning weirder by the day. At the end of the day, what matters is foot traffic and revenue, and I wouldn't go as far as saying their stores became unwelcoming in any way; just a tad more quirky. :p All things considered, it's a very useful store we love to hate and hate to love. ;)
Rating: 1 Votes
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