Galeries Lafayette to acquire La Redoute

Galeries Lafayette announced on Thursday its intention to acquire fashion and homeware e-business La Redoute, as the upmarket French department store chain seeks to accelerate its digital transformation. Upon completion of the transaction, the size of which was not disclosed, Galeries Lafayette would hold 51 per cent of La Redoute through its holding company Motier, with the aim of owning 100 per cent in the future.

The move is proof of how retailers are trying to strengthen their so-called “omni-channel” approach that combines the best of digital and e-commerce with physical stores. Philippe Houzé, executive board chairman of Galeries Lafayette group, said in a statement: “With the fashion and retail industries facing unprecedented global change, the complementary position of La Redoute and Galeries Lafayette – the group’s flagship brand – would establish us as a leading physical and digital retailer specialised in fashion and home furnishings, with French roots and international outreach.”

Family-run private group Galeries Lafayette, which employs 14,000 people in France, recorded retail sales of €3.8bn last year. Meanwhile La Redoute recorded €750m revenues in 2016. Internet sales represent 85 per cent of La Redoute’s sales in France, and claims to have more than 9m unique visitors each month. Nathalie Balla and Eric Courteille, co-chairmen of La Redoute, would continue to run the company with the team in place. The transaction is expected to be finalised in the next few months subject to regulatory approval.

Galeries Lafayette