Fifteen years after its first foray into China, French Department store Galeries Lafayette is officially reopening in Beijing tomorrow. The chain opened a store in Beijing in 1997 but closed a year later as the market was not mature enough. Thierry Vannier, director of the international department says “we are planning to open 16 outlets in China in the coming 5 years.” Hong Kong based I.T. limited owns a 50% stake in the new store. The store is about half the size of the boulevard Haussman store in Paris, in the 9th arrondissement.
Theophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn opened the store in a small haberdasher’s in 1895 on the corner of rue La Fayette and Chaussee d’Antin. A year later they purchased the entire building at No 1 rue La Fayette. In 1905 they expanded by aquiring no 38, 40 and 42, boulevard Haussman as well as no 15 rue de la Chaussee d’Antin.
The store is a Paris heritage site. The company also owns stores in New York, Berlin, Dubai, Casablanca And Jakarta.
The new Beijing store is located in the Xidan commercial district and comprises 47,000 sqm floor space, located over 6 floors.