Intersport inaugurated its first store inside Paris a few days ago. With 1,800 square meters on three floors facing the high-traffic rue de Rivoli, near the Louvre Museum, it occupies the premises of Adidas' former flagship store in the city. It features a new shopfit that may be replicated in half a dozen other Intersport stores in the French capital, according to managers of the group. Décathlon and Go Sport are the only other multi-brand and multi-sport retailers in the city right now, and together they have a similar number of stores.

Intersport is the second-largest sporting goods retailer in France after Décathlon, but its stores cover only 50 percent of the country's territory and the banner is virtually abseny from the region in and around Paris, where 25 percent of the country's population lives. Intersport officials are now envisaging the opening of more than 20 stores in the Paris regions and other investments by its retail members in downtown locations, for example in Marseille.

The new Paris Intersport is the creature of the group's largest retail member, Bernard Joannin, who already has 23 other Intersport stores generating annual sales of €110 million. He spent about €2 million on the new store but hopes to make a profit from the first full year of operation if its sales reach €9 million. Adidas was making a higher turnover at the location before, but its sales sank to that level after it opened its new flagship on the Champs-Elysées.

Employing about 50 people, the store has large sections covering running, football, basketball, swimming and other stores. It offers for the moment only branded products but is said to be planning to add some more affordable private label items later in the year.