The first free-standing Jordan store in Europe opened in the Bastille district of Paris a few days ago, taking the place of a former furniture outlet. It is managed by Foot Locker, which opened a Jordan store in New York last year through its Footaction chain, naming it Flight 23. Foot Locker also opened the first Canadian store under this growing sub-brand of Nike in Toronto in January.

Other Jordan stores are already operating in Chicago, Hong Kong and Dubai, but we have been unable to determine whether they are managed by Nike, by Foot Locker or by other retailers. It's not clear whether Foot Locker has an exclusive deal with Nike for Jordan stores in Europe, but the chain is looking for other locations across the continent.

Foot Locker already has 25 House of Hoops stores in Europe, addressing the basketball category without focusing on any specific athlete. The development of the Jordan franchise is part of a wider program by Nike to develop the image of Michael Jordan in basketball and other categories, more than doubling its global sales under the brand to an annual level of $4.5 billion by 2020.

Nike officials say that France had been chosen as the testing ground for the first Jordan store in Europe because of the strong popularity of basketball in the country, which counts some 600,000 licensees, and the presence of 16 French athletes in the NBA.

The Jordan Bastille store in Paris offers the entire product range of the brand on 290 square meters of net selling space. It features a “Jordan Flight Lab” where customers can try out the shoes. The upper floor includes a customization area for shoes and apparel.