Watch out Paris, here comes Korea’s Paris Baguette!

July 23, 2014

First store opens in Europe 

(Courtesy of Paris Baguette)

(Courtesy of Paris Baguette)

By Lee Minji

(Yonhap) — South Korea’s bakery giant Paris Baguette said Wednesday it has opened a flagship store in central Paris as part of its global expansion drive.

The 200-square-meter store with 46 seats is located in the Chatelet district of Paris, which is in the vicinity of key tourist attractions such as Notre Dame Cathedral and Louvre Museum, the company said in a press release.

In efforts to capture local consumers’ tastes, the bakery franchise plans to hire more French bakers and focus its menu on French breads, pastries and sandwiches, it said.

The Paris store, the company’s first branch in Europe, is the latest addition to the company’s growing global operations. Since 2004, the bakery chain has been opening branches in Asia and North America.

As of July, the company operated 181 stores in overseas markets, including 125 in China and 37 in the United States.

SPC Group, the parent group of Paris Baguette, said it plans to accelerate expansion into Canada and Europe.

“We hope that the Paris expansion will help Paris Baguette become a global brand. We have introduced the French bakery culture to Korea. From now on, we hope to expand into the global market,” said SPC Group chief executive Hur Young-in.

The company’s entrance into the French market comes as South Korean food and restaurant chains are turning overseas to seek new growth engines.

Tous Les Jours, a bakery franchise owned by the country’s food conglomerate CJ, has also tapped into countries such as China, Vietnam and the U.S.