Galeries Lafayette unveils its project for the Champs-Elysées

As a partner of the Hyères Festival of Fashion and Photography, Galeries Lafayette took advantage of the event to present its new project for Paris' Champs-Elysées at a conference held at Villa Noailles on Friday. In attendance were Nadia Dhouib, the future retail location's managing director, and Clara Cornet, the company's creative and merchandising director who recently returned to Galeries Lafayette following a period in the US, working as buying director at multi-brand retailer The Webster. 


The conference about Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées - FashionNetwork.com (ph DM)

Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées is slated to open in March 2019 at number 52 on the world's most expensive avenue, where it will replace the Virgin megastore that closed its doors in 2013. The layout of the 9,000-square-metre space has been confided to Danish architecture firm BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, which, as emphasised by Nadia Dhouib and Clara Cornet, will create "a disruptive customer journey". 

The idea is that the space will also be able to evolve. "It will be like a playground, where we'll be free to do whatever we like. The aim is to make it so that visitors stop and spend time in the store". With the project, the group hopes to create the shop of the future, a kind of lifestyle concept store, which will be able to surprise and enchant its customers by putting experience first, along with personalised services provided by sales staff trained like the concierges of grand hotels. 

For the moment, a small team of seven is working on the project but that figure is set to grow rapidly, as the location's workforce will ultimately number 500 people. From staff to furnishings, everything will be 100% Galeries Lafayette. There will, therefore, be no concessions and no stands. The company is also hoping to "establish real partnerships with brands, not just simple collaborations".

Nothing was revealed about the store's offering, as the project is supposed to be "dynamic" and should be able to effectively follow its clientele's desires within the year. Nadia Dhouib and Clara Cornet did, however, speak of a highly diversified offer, "a combination of different energies", with fashion, including "the big labels mixed with emerging designers", but also gastronomy, music, books and more. 

Without giving away too many details about the project, Dhouib and Cornet attempted above all to explain its essence. "It will be a glocal store", appealing to both locals and tourists, with the company hoping to be able to "speak to Parisians, while also maintaining global visibility."

Translated by Robin Driver

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