How do you make a smartwatch appeal to the fashion set? By bringing it into their natural habitat: Ridiculously expensive retailers in fashion hubs. French news sites are reporting (via 9to5Mac) that Apple is setting up booths for the Apple Watch within high-end Paris stores like Galeries Lafayette (above) on the Champs Elysees. Don't forget that Apple isn't just targeting tech geeks with its smartwatch, it's also aiming at the same deep-pocketed consumers that keep the Swiss watch industry alive. To compete with the likes of Rolex and Richemont (whose watch brands include Cartier and Piaget), it needs to be in the same stores. And while the Apple Watch will start at $350, its fancier steel and gold versions will push its price into territory that the company's traditional devotees might have a tough time stomaching. Judging from the reports we've heard, the steel watch could go for more than $500, while the gold Apple Watch Edition could go for several thousand dollars.
9to5Mac is also hearing that Apple is considering plenty of other retail strategies: It could bring more Apple Watch kiosks into existing retailers, or it may even launch standalone stores for its smartwatch. That may seem a tad much at the moment, but if the Apple Watch takes off there may be a need for smaller stores that focus on it entirely, similar to Swatch's retail approach.
[Photo credit: Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images]