May 15, 2019 / 1:42 PM / 5 days ago

Le Printemps looks abroad as it seeks to double sales by 2030

PARIS (Reuters) - French luxury department store chain Le Printemps plans to expand abroad and in e-commerce as it seeks to double sales to 3.5 billion euros ($3.9 billion) by 2030, it said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A view shows counters at the Printemps department store in a shopping district in Paris, France, November 23, 2015. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Chief Executive Paolo de Cesare told a news conference that Le Printemps would open a 30,000 square metre flagship store in Qatar’s Doha and a 2,500 square metre one in Milan in the city’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele area in 2021.

Five to 10 more store openings could later follow abroad “in unique and iconic locations, depending on opportunities,” he said

Le Printemps, owned by Qatari investors since 2013, also announced the acquisition of online designer furniture and lighting company Made in Design. It said it aimed to do about 25-30% of its business online by 2030, compared with 7% now.

This is not the first time Le Printemps has ventured overseas. In the 1980s it opened stores in the Middle East and Asia, which it has since closed. The last store closed abroad was in Tokyo in 2017.

This time, Le Printemps will manage the stores directly instead of using franchises.

The group did not disclose the size of planned investments, but said they would significantly outpace the 700 million euros spent in the last ten years to upgrade stores in France and increase its luxury focus.

French arch-rival Galeries Lafayette has been expanding abroad in recent years to target high spending shoppers in the Middle East and Asia.

The Doha store will be Le Printemps’s second largest after its flagship on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris at 45,000 square meters.

Despite six months of anti-government “yellow vest” protests in France, Le Printemps saw a 3% rise in group sales for the year ended March 31.

The Haussmann store is aiming for sales of 1.5-1.7 billion euros by 2030, compared with 1 billion euros currently.

Le Printemps, which traces its roots back to 1865, has 19 stores and eight Citadium lifestyle stores in France, employing 3,000 people.

Reporting by Pascale Denis; Editing by Mark Potter

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