In China, new retail concepts are in demand. Currently, multi-brand retail is hot in China with a slew of new openings.
10 Corso Como opened a store in Shanghai in September, Lane Crawford launched a 150,000-square-foot flagship there earlier this month, and Galeries Lafayette opened a 350,000-square-foot department store in Beijing.
Galeries Lafayette’s Beijing store is a 50-50 joint venture between Galeries Lafayette and Hong Kong-based I.T Limited. The partners plan to open 15 department stores in China in the next several years.
“China has huge potential for a brand like Galeries Lafayette, and we believe our offer and store format are sufficiently well adapted to the Chinese market for us to develop them on a large scale,” Philippe Houzé, executive chairman of Galeries Lafayette Group, told WWD.
Although spending by the Chinese has decelerated to its slowest rate in 13 years with growth projected at 7.5 percent for 2013, Houzé is confident that Galeries Lafayette’s product offerings, ranging from high-end to affordable, will appeal to luxury consumers as well as the middle class and younger fashionistas. Lafayette wants to be known as a fashion store.
Houzé expects Galeries Lafayette Beijing to generate $54 million to $68 million in sales in the first year.
I.T chairman, chief executive officer and founder Sham Kar Wai said “I think we still have a good opportunity. Most of the department stores in China look the same — it’s always the same design, brand mix and concept. That’s why we want to come in with something interesting like Galeries Lafayette. We are setting a new benchmark for the local department store.”
The store is expansive with “140,000 square feet of women’s wear and 57,000 square feet of men’s wear, as well as children’s clothes, beauty, accessories and a food hall spanning more than 75,000 square feet, including the first Angelina tea room outside France.”
“In addition to luxury brands like Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Fendi, Chloé and Givenchy, the store will carry other brands licensed or owned by I.T Holdings. French brands exclusive to the store include Jérôme Dreyfuss, Rochas, Sandro, The Kooples, Tila March and Karine Arabian.”
“This format does not exist on the Chinese market today,” said Houzé.
photo credit: 10 corso como, lane crawford, galeries lafayette