After Beijing and Shanghai, the French retailer is confirming its commitment to developing its network of physical shops in the Middle Kingdom with a third destination: Shenzhen. This geographical expansion has been made possible by a partnership with Hopson Development Holdings Limited, a local property operator.
Last week, Galeries Lafayette officially opened a new 4,500m² physical store in Shenzhen, China, in the UpperHills gallery. The event was attended by members of the management team, including CEO Nicolas Houzé.
This is Galeries Lafayette’s third store in China and its first in the south of the country. The aim is to offer a cutting-edge multi-brand selection aimed at the young, dynamic clientele of the megalopolis that is Shenzhen.
A large concept shop on two levels
Located in the bustling Futian district of Shenzhen, the 4,500m² flagship store, spread over two levels and inspired by French architecture, has taken its place in the UpperHills city centre shopping complex.
This new shop concept aims to promote around a hundred different brands, from French icons such as Balmain, Courrèges, Jacquemus and Rabanne to local Chinese and international brands.
In addition to the fashion and beauty areas, the department stores’ has a gift area called Edit Gift, as well as an area more focused on the art of living.
In its wake, a Kitsuné café has taken up residence on the third floor of the building, adjoining an area dedicated to sneakers.
Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley with a population of 12.59 million (2021 figure), is a city that is increasingly attracting luxury brands. Chanel, for example, has decided to open one of its VIP salons there, exclusive showcases dedicated to its most affluent customers. The Rue Cambon-based brand is also planning to stage its Cruise 2024 fashion show there. A destination that Dior has chosen to showcase its autumn-winter 2023 ready-to-wear collection again on 12 July.
As Nicolas Houzé, CEO of Galeries Lafayette, said on Linkedin, “this new location in the heart of one of southern China’s major metropolises is a further embodiment of our ambitions to accelerate our presence in this fascinating country, where our brand has great potential for growth.
Stronger local roots with Hopson Group
To celebrate the inauguration of this third city, an operation called “From Paris with Love”, devised by the GGSV studio, paid tribute to the French art of living. The activation consisted of a VIP experience in the elegant setting of a Haussmann-style salon.
This exclusive image echoes the partnership forged with Hopson, a listed Hong Kong property company specialising in south-east China. Galeries Lafayette and Hopson Group are 50% shareholders in this joint venture.
According to Nicolas Houzé (Galeries Lafayette), this strategic partnership fosters “a shared ambition”: “to accelerate the deployment of the brand and create a major retail player, capable of responding to generational changes and the high-potential growth in domestic consumption between now and 2030”.
Announced last April and replacing the one initiated earlier with Hong Kong-based IT Limited, this strategic partnership aims to open around ten outlets in China by 2025. This ambitious project was formulated before the pandemic and will continue with the opening of two more outlets in Chongqing and Macao by the end of the year. Macau, renowned for its casinos, is now also a dynamic market for luxury hotels.
Initially planned, the opening of the Guiyang outlet, which was to follow that of the Shenzhen shop, is no longer on the agenda.
Galeries Lafayette aims to project a more luxurious image in China by promoting a certain idea of the French art of living “in the heart of unique and selective environments”.
As well as developing the network of physical sales outlets, the partnership also involves Hopson Group building an e-commerce platform.
This will enable the Galeries Lafayette group to continue the geographic expansion it began in China in 2013 with its first shop in Beijing, followed by two in Shanghai.
Until now, the Parisian fashion specialist has had seven shops outside France, including five outside China, spread between Luxembourg, Berlin, Dubai, Doha and Jakarta.
Building on their partnership with the Hopson group, Galeries Lafayette is also planning to open two shops in India, in Bombay and New Delhi, in 2024. Another country with strong potential for luxury goods.
Featured photos : © Galeries Lafayette