Galeries Lafayette Returns to Beijing After 15-Year Hiatus
After an initial foray into China in 1997, French department store Galeries Lafayette is expected to return this September.
The new store will be in Beijing, the same city it debuted 15 years ago, but quickly closed a year later.
“The market conditions were not mature enough at that time. Now China’s economy has changed a lot and I’m very optimistic about the new stores opened this September,” said Thierry Vannier, director of the international department at Galeries Lafayette. “Moreover, we are planning to open 16 outlets in China in the coming five years.”
The company is optimistic, projecting annual sales of 50 million euros.
However, insiders believe that Chinese consumers would prefer to buy from Lafayette in France where purchases are tax-free. This equates to a 12% savings compared to other French stores and a huge savings compared to buying in China where taxes on luxury goods are very high.
This time around, Galeries Lafayette will work with Hong Kong-based I.T. group, which owns over 200 outlets in mainland China.
photo credit: galeries lafayette