Printemps again targeting international expansion
Owned by Qatari investors since 2013, the Printemps group has bold ambitions, including that of doubling its sales by 2030 to reach 3.5 billion euros in revenue. In order to do so, its international development will be a major pillar in its strategy, according to its president Paolo de Cesare, who announced on May 15 at a press conference the group’s entry into Qatar’s Doha and into Milan, in Italy, in 2021.
The development will mark a recapturing of international markets for the department store, which in the past excelled beyond the French borders. In the ‘80s, Printemps initiated its breakthrough into the international market with openings in various regions, of particular note in the Middle East and in Asia. In 2017, it was forced to close its last store in Tokyo, Japan.
To master the next step in its expansion, de Cesare said that the openings abroad will be all be directly operated and that each store will be helmed by a Printemps manager and not by a franchise. The Doha department store will invest in a vast mixed-use complex called the Oasis, which will combine hotels, cinemas and a leisure offering. Printemps will take up three floors over a surface area of 30,000 square metres, which will make the store the group’s second largest after its Paris flagship, at 45,000 square metres. The store’s offering will be luxury-oriented.
The location of the Milan store has not yet been unveiled, but will be situated in the immediate proximity of the Galerie Vittorio Emanuele II in the city centre. One of the real estate projects in the area that could be a fit for Printemps is “The Medelan,” the reclassification of a palace on the Piazza Cordusio that formerly housed the Credito Italiano bank. With an expected completion date of 2021, the space should accommodate businesses on the ground floor including some that will be firsts in the Italian market. Milan appears a desirable spot for expansion for French department stores, as the Galeries Lafayette will also be opening a location there in 2021 at the future Westfield shopping mall, at the edge of the city.
“We are not only going to establish ourselves in very high traffic city-centre areas,” said de Cesare. “Apart from Doha, we will be looking for smaller locations, at around 2,500 square metres, such as our Louvre store, which is performing extremely well and generates a third of the sales of the Haussmann store.” The Milan location will conform to such a format.
The company has yet to reveal the coming openings or continents in its sights, although de Cesare confirmed the group’s intentions to open 5-10 stores outside of France by 2030.
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