Jun 14, 2013
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Galeries Lafayette opens in Indonesia

Jun 14, 2013

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Thursday marked the opening of Galeries Lafayette’s first store in Indonesia ahead of a planned opening in China this September. It seems the French group is once again looking to conquer the Asian luxury after a first attempt in the eighties and nineties.

With 240 million inhabitants, Indonesia is the planet fourth largest population and has become a go-to destination for many luxury brands. With growth upwards of 6% a year, Indonesia is at the head of the G20 group of rich and emergent countries and is the biggest Muslim nation to see such rapid growth of its upper class.

LVMH, Gucci, Prada and Chanel all have retail space in the country’s many shopping centres, with many choosing to focus on the capital Jakarta with its population of 20 million. In this lucrative market, Galeries Lafayette has long been absent.

When talking of its decision to open in Indonesia, Philippe Houzé, chairman of the board at Galeries Lafayette said that South East Asia’s first economy has “potential and very rapid growth.”

The group had already made an attempt to break into the market in the eighties and nineties but stores in Singapore and Beijing were forced to closed, with local press speculating that the group has been making tens of millions in losses.

“We did not have the right partners and our stores were not adapted to the market needs and expectations,” Philippe Houzé.

This time around, Galeries Lafayette chose to work with Mitra Adiperkasa, a group which operates 1400 points of sale in Indonesia and it the number one lifestyle retailer in the country.

The company plans to not be misled this time around and intends to go about business in a professional manner, focusing less on what a typical French department store is and “mixing in elements of the local lifestyle.”

This point constitutes the main thread of Galeries Lafayette’s international expansion plan. Currently, just four of the 64 Lafayette stores are located outside of its domestic market, France. Before the Indonesia, the company opened stores in Berlin in 1996, Dubai in 2009 and Casablanca in 2011. Beijing is the next map with a scheduled opening for September and stores in Turkey and Qatar are on the cards for 2015.

In 2012 the group reported revenue of 3.7 billion euros. The investment figures for this new store opening have not been disclosed.


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