LVMH targets tourist shoppers with revamp of historic Paris store

PARIS (Reuters) - Luxury goods group LVMH aims to grab a greater slice of tourist spending in Paris as of next April when it relaunches La Samaritaine, a 150-year-old department store that will house a hotel and shops and rival the likes of Galeries Lafayette. Spending by visitors to France remains a major source of income for high-end brands, even if Chinese shoppers, the industry's number one clientele, are starting to buy more at home, encouraged by import duty cuts among other incentives. LVMH, behind fashion and accessories labels like Louis Vuitton, makes 8% of its sales in France alone, and already owns upmarket Parisian department store Le Bon Marche

Reuters November 20, 2019 00:07:18 IST
LVMH targets tourist shoppers with revamp of historic Paris store

LVMH targets tourist shoppers with revamp of historic Paris store

PARIS (Reuters) - Luxury goods group LVMH aims to grab a greater slice of tourist spending in Paris as of next April when it relaunches La Samaritaine, a 150-year-old department store that will house a hotel and shops and rival the likes of Galeries Lafayette.

Spending by visitors to France remains a major source of income for high-end brands, even if Chinese shoppers, the industry's number one clientele, are starting to buy more at home, encouraged by import duty cuts among other incentives.

LVMH, behind fashion and accessories labels like Louis Vuitton, makes 8% of its sales in France alone, and already owns upmarket Parisian department store Le Bon Marche.

Its latest venture, with 20,000 square metres of shopping space, will sit on the banks of the Seine, close to tourist magnets like Notre-Dame Cathedral.

La Samaritaine is famed for its 1920-era building and gilded Art Deco facade but the revamped store will include a 100-metre airport-style moving walkway through a tunnel to nearby parking.

"The environment in Paris is very competitive, we had to differentiate ourselves," Eleonore de Boysson, the Europe and Middle East head of DFS Group said in a presentation on Tuesday.

DFS is a retail and airport duty-free group which is majority-owned by LVMH and primarily present in Asia, including Hong Kong, where operations have been hit by street protests.

Facing competition from online retailers, department stores are reinventing themselves as day-trip destinations.

La Samaritaine, which expects just under 5 million visitors in its first year, will rival peers like Qatari-controlled Printemps and family-owned Galeries Lafayette. Some 37 million shoppers visit the latter's main store in Paris every year.

LVMH, which first snapped up a stake in La Samaritaine in 2001, said it had spent 750 million euros ($830.70 million) on its makeover, which includes a contemporary, wavy glass exterior on one side by Japanese architectural duo SANAA.

The store had to shut its doors in 2005 as its original glass flooring was not sufficiently fire-resistant.

Operators expects half of shoppers to be made up of tourists from overseas and other parts of France, who will account for a majority of revenue.

The complex will include a luxury rooftop hotel and be home to 96 flats under a social housing scheme.

($1 = 0.9029 euros)

(Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.