French department store group Galeries Lafayette has secured a strategic partnership and joint venture with the Chinese real estate company Hopson Group to expand its business in China.
The new partnership aims to open ten stores in China by 2025, a target set before the Covid-19 crisis. Future stores will not only include renowned international brands but also include Chinese independent designer brands. Galeries Lafayette already operates two stores in Beijing and Shanghai, but with this new deal, it plans to expand into other Chinese cities such as Shenzhen, Chongqing and Macau.
In addition, the joint venture will replace the previous partnership between Galeries Lafayette and IT Limited and focus on selling luxury brands in their upmarket stores with the aim of conveying “a certain vision of the French art of living in the heart of unique and selective multi-brand environments”. At the same time, the high-end group will work to strengthen its digital presence as part of its omnichannel approach.
Nicolas Houzé, CEO of Galeries Lafayette and BHV Marais, stated, “Our Group has always enjoyed close and unique ties with China. As our first store in Beijing celebrates its 10th anniversary and the country gradually reopens its doors to the world after three challenging years, we are delighted to initiate a new phase in our Chinese growth by forging a strategic partnership with Hopson Commercial Group.”
Meanwhile, Sylvia Chu, the board chairman of Hopson Development Holdings Ltd, emphasized that the collaboration will allow both parties to capitalize on their unique strengths to create a cutting-edge high-end department store business with a first-class buyer team and an advanced supply chain management system. Chu added that Hopson Commercial will leverage its long-standing business value, tap into the potential of the new consumer business field, and establish a premium retail platform to add unique local services in the new stores which can drive new value growth across the entire chain’s business development model.
Overall, the new joint venture between Galeries Lafayette and Hopson Group represents a significant development in the luxury retail industry in China, as well as Galeries Lafayette’s commitment to China, where the country remains at the core of the group’s international expansion strategy. As China gradually reopens its doors to the world, this new partnership is set to capitalize on the potential of the Chinese consumer market and drive new value growth across the entire chain’s business development model.