Police said at least one of the four, who were all masked and wore helmets, carried an assault rifle, with a witness saying that the others also had automatic weapons.
They made their getaway on two motorbikes in a scene that was filmed by a bystander and widely shared on social media.
The clip shows three people dressed in black leaving the boutique while a fourth, carrying an assault rifle on a shoulder strap, waited on a motorcycle.
WITNESS SAW THE CHANEL HEIST DURING A CIGARETTE BREAK
A witness, 26-year-old Anastasia Martino who works in a clothes store across from Chanel said she was on a cigarette break when she noticed “a man with a Kalashnikov on a motorbike”, at around 2:30 pm (12:30 GMT).
“Two minutes later, three other men left the boutique carrying big black bags. They, too, had automatic weapons, got on two motorbikes and left in a hurry.”
Her colleague, 31-year-old Cyril Ngo, said the heist lasted a full 10 minutes. “These weren’t professionals,” he said.
POLICE CORDONED OFF THE CHANEL CRIME SCENE
The Chanel shop is located on Rue de La Paix, close to Place Vendome, an area with a high concentration of luxury jewellery stores.
Police cordoned off the area shortly after the robbery, and the store was shuttered.
Chanel, founded in 1910 by Coco Chanel, is one of France’s leading fashion houses, selling haute couture and ready-to-wear clothes, perfumes, accessories and other luxury items.
© Agence France-Presse