The French department store will close its Berlin branch by the end of 2024
Galeries Lafayette, the iconic French department store group, has announced that it will close its Berlin branch by the end of 2024. The decision comes as the group faces a challenging retail environment and a lack of profitability in the German capital.
The Berlin store was the first international venture of Galeries Lafayette outside of France
The Berlin store, which opened in 1996, was the first international venture of Galeries Lafayette outside of France. It is located on Friedrichstrasse, a central shopping street in the Mitte district, and occupies a glass-fronted building designed by renowned architect Jean Nouvel. The store covers more than 88,000 square feet of selling space on four floors and features a food hall that offers French delicacies.
The store has struggles to attract customers and generate profits in a competitive and saturated market
However, despite its prestigious location and design, the store has struggled to attract customers and generate profits in a competitive and saturated market. According to German media reports, the store has been losing money for years and has been unable to renew its lease with the landlord. The group also cited the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the changing consumer preferences as reasons for its closure.
The closure will affect 190 employees and the future of the building
The closure of the Berlin store marks a setback for Galeries Lafayette's international expansion strategy, which has focused on Asia and the Middle East in recent years. The group operates a dozen other branches with retail partners around the world, in cities such as Dubai, Doha, Jakarta, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai. It plans to open new stores in Macau, Chongqing, Mumbai, and New Delhi in the coming years.
Galeries Lafayette is one of the oldest and most famous department store chains in France
Galeries Lafayette is one of the oldest and most famous department store chains in France, founded in 1893. It is known for its flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris, which attracts millions of visitors every year with its, balconies and Christmas decorations. The group also owns other brands such as BHV Marais, Eataly Paris and La Redoute.