zondag 1 december 2013
Galeries Lafayette may soon open an outlet in Russia to tap into the country's € 5.0 billion luxury goods market.
Famous French top-end department store chain Galeries Lafayette may soon open an outlet in Russia to tap into the country's € 5.0 billion luxury goods market. Rumors of Lafayette's impending arrival were confirmed by several Russian retail expert firms like Monarch Capital Partners, who said the chain has been searching the city for retail locations. In 1995, Lafayette — which amassed 2012 sales volume of € 2.3 billion in some 250 stores across the globe — made an unsuccessful attempt to gain a foothold on the Russian market with a handbags store in Red Square's upmarket GUM shopping centre. Established in Paris in 1894, Lafayette attracts over 1 million customers to its outlets every day. In the running to become Lafayette's local partner may be Luxury goods retailer Mercury Group, which owns the lavish TsUM department store and Tretyakovsky Proyezd in central Moscow, according to Bonno van der Putten from Monarch Capital Partners, which specializes in bringing major foreign retailers to Russia. Lafayette will have to overcome a number of obstacles on to the Moscow market — where the country's demand for Luxury goods is clustered — such as the high cost of leasing commercial space and stiff competition. Big-brand fashions in Russia still cost about 50% more than they do in Paris or London The total Russian fashion retail market expanded 11% last year to about €45 billion, of which Moscow accounted for €6 billion, says Bonno van der Putten. Future growth and expansion will come from the regions with cities like St. Petersburg, Sochi, Yekaterinburg, and Samara. Van der Putten estimates that the fashion market in Sochi, home to the Winter Olympics in February, is set to grow as much as 10% a year, more than twice the pace of Moscow