Last week I was with a client at the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps in Paris, when they opened at 10 a.m. Two things struck me:
- While the aisles of the Printemps were empty, those of Galeries Lafayette were already filled with people. A very particular type of crowd: they were all Chinese tourists.
Lining up at the Chanel counter was a queue similar to the one I saw in Hong Kong a few months ago.
This confirms what Bain stated in their study "2012 China Luxury Study": 25% of luxury product customers are Chinese (the first nationality ahead of the U.S.) and 60% of them purchase products outside China (of which about 30% buy in Europe and the USA).
Today, with the Chinese, the Galeries Lafayette is capitalizing on the strategy for receiving foreign tourists that it launched several years ago to cater to the Japanese. The Printemps – which wishes to focus on an international clientele - obviously still has some way to go to attain the same impact the Galeries has.
- The Printemps that follows an upmarket strategy since 2006 - making it a luxury hotspot in Paris – develops, together with the brands, a very interesting approach: many brands have two or three locations in the store. This is the case of course with Louis Vuitton, which, in addition to a duplex store, has a corner for silk (oh Hermès!). It is the case with Guerlain, and also the Frédérique Constant watch brand, which can be found on the first floor among luxury brands, and in the basement with mid-range brands. Ladurée is a case that is even more interesting: after opening a tearoom on the 1st floor (the luxury brands floor), Ladurée has added corner counters at two of the Boulevard Haussmann entrances.