Galeries Lafayette to turn 22 department store branches into franchises
The latest Galeries Lafayette project is now official. First heralded last November by the Galeries Lafayette's employee union, the details of the French department store group's plan to franchise some of its branches were confirmed on Tuesday.
Twenty-two Galeries Lafayette stores, according to a press release, will become the property of Financière Immobilière Bordelaise (FIB), the group's partner in the project.
The stores in question are located in the French towns of Agen, Amiens, Angoulême, Bayonne, Beauvais, Belfort, Besançon, Caen, Cannes, Chalon-sur-Saône, Chambéry, Dax, La Roche-sur-Yon, La Rochelle, Libourne, Lorient, Montauban, Niort, Rouen, Saintes, Tarbes and Toulon. According to the Galeries Lafayette's management, the stores will still be "supported by the group, in terms of purchasing, visual identity and commercial initiatives," while FIB will buy the stores' premises and stock-in-trade.
FIB, a group specialised in commercial real estate, was founded by Michel Ohayon in Bordeaux and is now based in Paris. It manages over €2 billion worth of assets, both as commercial lessor, notably renting property to fashion retailers, and as owner of hotels in France and outside the country.
The acquisition of the 22 franchised stores is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018. As a result, the Galeries Lafayette group will operate a network of 28 directly owned stores and 27 franchised ones.
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