Va Va Voom! A Wildly Cool Branch With Paris Style

BNP Paribas Concept Store: An ‘Innovation Laboratory’

There is a new show on the Paris opera scene. When BNP Paribas opened on Le 2 Opéra mere steps from the world-famous opera house, this historic section of Paris that dates back to Napoleonic times quickly stepped into the 21st century.

The BNP Paribas branch is a riot of hues, what one reviewer called a “wacky funhouse of colors, shapes, textures and forms.” It is a surreal combination blending the styling of an upscale salon with that of a comfy European home. Throw in some contemporary tech and a dash of eccentric creativity, and the result is a visually stunning and sensory experience. The French, always admired for their sense of flair, do not disappoint.

BNP Paribas is using its new Paris location as an experimental prototype, testing a range of innovations and technologies. BNP Paribas says this branch, which it describes as part concept store and part innovation lab, is the first initiative of this kind that the bank has ever undertaken.

Features of the BNP Paribas branch include:

  • Le Lounge – Both existing clients and prospective customers can relax and surf the internet via their own smart phone or with an iPad provided free.
  • Banking Boutique – Customers and prospective clients can explore BNP’s range of products and perform simulations using the iPad applications provided.
  • Banking Boutique Plus – If the regular Banking Boutique is for self-service tech, then this section is for more personal and consultative interactions. Advisors will be available to help clients to plan their finances by working with an interactive screen.
  • Financial Info Area – A learning environment where people can access economic and financial information, check stock market prices, attend workshops and seminars, etc.
  • Play Area – Where children can have fun, draw on a tiled wall or watch children’s TV programs.
  • Self Service Area – Where people can carry out cash and check transactions independently during extended hours — from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.


This wonderful 2-minute video gives you a really good sense for how everything ties together. There are two lounges, a coffee bar, interactive learning environments and a kids play area.

Giant retail windows with LED light sculpture

The branch’s exterior is a sight to behold. Two massive LED walls flank the entrance to create a spectacular light sculpture rivaling any major retailer’s street display.

A short, one-minute video showing how the giant LED walls work.

Differentiation through innovation

“Innovation is an important means of differentiation in the banking industry,” the bank said. “As such, it is central to BNP Paribas’ strategy.”

“This unique branch model will help to develop a new approach to banking relationships and pilot the use of new technologies in the branch,” BNP Paribas explained.

The French retail banking arm of BNP Paribas has rolled out a number of new innovations over the past year, including an iPad app and the launch of Net Agence, its dedicated online bank branch.

Among its core values, BNP Paribas lists commitment, approachability, learning, responsiveness and innovation.

Two years from start to finish

Planning for the concept store took over 15 months and involved over 100 staff.
The bank also involved clients in the design process by conducting a survey before launching the concept. The bank’s clients said they want a more friendly branch atmosphere with a choice between real human contact when they need assistance and self-service options based on innovative technologies.

Using this feedback, the architectural team at Zoevox helped BNP Paribas develop a unique branch concept over 15 months. Construction took nine months.

The resulting building covers 6,200 square feet (1,900 square meters), distributed on two floors, of which 4,000 square feet are open to the public.

The new Paris branch is expected to serve 25,000 BNP Paribas clients, more than half of them from countries other than France. The branch has 50 staff on hand each day, with some 20 specially trained to look after than bank’s international clientele.

Hat Tip: To Kathryn Lineberger of finanSTYLE first found this item through Cool Hunter.

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