Sep 16, 2014
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Galeries Lafayette opens first outlet at One Nation Paris

Sep 16, 2014

Galeries Lafayette has picked One Nation Paris as launchpad for its first outlet store, which opened on September 13 with an inventory of over 50 brands. This trial effort could lead to other locations in France and abroad.

Photo: Matthieu Guinebault

The opening marks a big catch for the premium outlet mall launched in December outside of Paris in Clayes-sous-Bois. And it is especially a dive into the unknown for Galeries Lafayette, the first French department store to embark on such an business adventure.

Occupying an 800-square-meter space, the store offers some fifty brands of clothing for men, women and children as well as women's shoes. And of course, all items are marked down, even though the designer brand prices are themselves still high.

A Canada Goose parka, for example, retails at 350 euros, a Burberry suit jacket sells for 290 euros and a Yves Saint Laurent bag can be had for 500 euros.

Other brands include Michael Kors, Vanessa Bruno, Chloé, Balenciaga, Kenzo, Christian Lacroix, Marina Rinaldi, Ralph Lauren, Iro, Paul&Joe, Molly Bracken, Le Temps des Cerises, Guess, Azzaro, Teddy Smith, Fred Perry and Superdry. Also available are products from the Galeries Lafayette in-house brand.

Photo: Matthieu Guinebault

The items from the many brands in stock are Galeries Lafayette buys that were previously offered in one of sixty stores belonging to the chain.

According to company management, no brand refused to join the outlet, adding that some have asked for more time to study the matter.

"We have not planned other similar openings at this time," said Olivier Bron, in charge of the Galeries Lafayette store network. "But we have not excluded a possible roll out of this retail format beyond the Paris region or abroad. And we are not ruling out eventually including the BHV in this initiative. But right now the important thing is to finalize this concept, as this store is a real test for us."

But what about the impact of an outlet store on Galeries Lafayette branding? "We were very careful," said Olivier Bron. "We would not have gone into just any outlet. That's why we picked One Nation among other locations in the running. This is a good fit with the premium brands that were asking the same questions and were convinced by the project," he explained.

Photo: Matthieu Guinebault

"Given the size of our group, we are not taking a big risk," added the store network manager. "For years outlet stores have become an increasingly powerful business model. And locating department stores in these outlets has been a success abroad. The increase in discounted prices in stores in general has shown the public's enthusiasm for this type of purchase."

Now time will tell what impact this store opening — a first for France — will have on One Nation.

Bolstered by the presence of Galeries Lafayette, the 70,000-square-meter commercial center can now boast a selection of brands unrivaled in France. With 35,000 visitors on weekends, the outlet is expected to exceed 2 million visitors by the end of the year, or 20 percent more than initial projections.

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