Rennes dowtowmn


With 16,000 employees, retail is a major part of Rennes’ economy

A large number of brands have chosen Rennes as the best place to develop their businesses.

The market

Commerce in Rennes

The new decade belongs to Rennes

– City center : Brittany’s commercial hub can boast significant investments totalling more than €2.4 billion, including a second metro line, a conference centre and EuroRennes, which all helps the city to project its economic potential into busy new urban areas. The establishment of new brands in the city such as Sostrene Grene, Sœur, Jimmy Fairly and the imminent arrival of Nespresso and Uniqlo are proof of the city’s vitality.

– Major hubs : Following the ambitious modernisations of the Centre Alma, Leclerc St Grégoire, Leclerc Cleunay and Grand Quartier, the Carrefour Cesson Rigourdière shopping centre is beginning its own transformation. The Rive Ouest centre in nearby Pacé with its two commercial powerhouses, Cora and Ikea, offers strong development potential: an open-air shopping centre with 27,000 m2 of retail space and funded jointly by Compagnie de Phalsbourg and Blot will open in 2019.

– Nearby population centres : In response to the needs of new residents and workers, and with the arrival of the second metro line in mind, the business landscape has been reshaped in the areas of Le Gast, la Courrouze, Baud Chardonnet, le Blosne and Via Silva.

Key figures

  • 5 400 commerces
  • 8 000 new residents per year
  • 700 000 local residents
  • purchasing power >10% above the national average

The success story

Success story

Céline and Sébastien, project facilitators, concept creators.

Originally from the city, Céline and Sébastien Meslin have made considerable contributions to Rennes’ economic success. It all began 15 years ago when they set up the Maje brand on rue Chateaurenault, behind the town hall. Their success brought others to the same street, including the shops Sandro, Kookai, The Kooples, Claudie Pierlot and Karl Marc John.

At the same time, they opened a three-star hotel on the rue de Nemours and then planned to do the same on rue du Maréchal Joffre. But faced with the complexity of the building renovation, the project developed to become the Balthazar – a five-star hotel associated with brands such as M Gallery by Sofitel and Nuxe Spa. It is currently ranked among the 25 best hotels in France by Tripadvisor.

Having now found their niche in hospitality, Céline and Sébastien Meslin’s concepts and philosophy of “finding unusual places to create stories” has not changed. It has not been easy for the local couple, but their hard work has paid off.

The business story

Charles Compagnon – owner of “Le Carré” resaurant

  • A profession founded on passion and relationships and involving people
  • President of the “Le Carré Rennais” the city-centre retailers’ association
  • Aims: To liven up the city centre and bring together retailers
  • Philosophy: To put intelligence and passion into everything he does
  • Ambition: To make Rennes city centre the top city centre in France

The key place

Saint Anne Rennes
Saint-Anne ©Destination Rennes/ Bruno MAZODIER 

The city centre

Major players have also chosen to develop and strengthen their position in Rennes city centre: Zara has almost doubled its retail space (+ 1,310 m2) and Les Galeries Lafayette have added an extension of an extra 1,080 m2 for a total 8,100m2 of retail space.

Various new national brands have also established themselves in Rennes city centre: Rougié & Plé has set up in the former town planning information centre on rue le Bastard, creating a new 650 m² retail space in the heart of the city, as have Sostrene Grene, Jott, Bensimon collection, Jimmy Fairly, la Fée Maraboutée, Lee, Jaqk, Avril, Sœur, B Chef, Doré Doré and many more.

New innovative concepts have bloomed in Rennes: Agent Paper, Roadside, Atelier Coqlicot and more are proof of the uniqueness of the city centre and a testament to its bright future as a major national centre. Aside from the major projects set to transform the city centre and generate a new, business-friendly environment, several retail opportunities will emerge to lead the city into its new decade.

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