Mixed retailers as a channel performed well in France in 2015 and 2016. While variety stores attracted consumers looking for a bargain at a time when the economy was struggling, department stores, with a focus on high-end products and customer service, suffered from a fall in number of affluent foreign shoppers following the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015.
Galeries Lafayette continued to lead the mixed retailer channel in 2016 with a value share of 33%. This leading position can be attributed to the company’s strength in department stores, in which it commanded a 54% share of value sales in 2016, Galeries Lafayette is the largest operator of department stores in France. In 2015, it opened its first outlet store in the One Nation Paris shopping centre, located to the north of the capital. This will enable the company to clear its stocks of unsold apparel and footwear products from its flagship outlets in order to remain on top of the latest fashion trends. At the same time, the retailer seized a prime location on the highly sought-after Champs Élysées in Paris, formerly occupied by the Virgin Megastore, where it plans to open a 9,000 sq m outlet.
There remains room for growth in the mixed retailer channel over the forecast period according to most experts, particularly when it comes to variety stores. French people are still seemingly addicted to in-store promotions and discounts and can be expected to continue to look for the best bargains in the growing number of such stores. As a result, mixed retailers is likely to see further polarisation between luxury department stores at the top end and variety stores at the bottom. This strategy may leave some empty space in the middle for existing players to gain value share or even other retail channels to poach sales. Department stores is set to continue to see a decline in number of outlets over the forecast period. This will be because the leading players in the channel will focus their efforts on their most profitable flagship locations. The leading players in variety stores, on the other hand, are set to continue to add new outlets to their networks.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.