GALERIES LAFAYETTE gains pace in international expansion leaving behind direct competitors

Frech upmarket department store GALERIES LAFAYETTES continues international expansion after Lebanon and United Arab Emirates with a store opening in Beijing this year. The company is also in discussions for stores in Morrocco and Tunisia.

Galeries Lafayettes has thus gained competitive advantage internationally against its direct rivals Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue and newcomer Bloomingdales which is set to open this year its first international location in Dubai Mall, the leading Mall of UAE.

While this might be the ideal sollution for such retail developers considering ebbing sales in their home countries, over-expansion internationally can have a long term damaging effect on their reputation and brand awareness. Many of the Galeries Lafayette international locations include a less upscale mix of brands and the low customer service levels are striking when compared to flagship locations such as Paris and Berlin.

Another such negative example is the Harvey Nichols store in Istanbul, Turkey which, despite an ownership change in 2009 is losing ground to local operator Beymen which recently opened a second flagship location in the Nisantasi downtown upscale shopping district.