PARIS -- The New York store of Galeries Lafayette continued to spout prodigious amounts of red ink in 1993, losing almost as much money as it took in.
Georges Meyer, chairman of the French retail company, said Thursday that the store, housed in Manhattan's Trump Tower, lost $18.3 million (104 million francs) at current exchange rates -- widening from a loss of 97 million francs in 1992 -- while sales remained about the same at approximately $20 million (114 million francs).
"We cannot rectify the situation without some changes concerning the actual real estate," Meyer told Galeries Lafayette's annual meeting with securities analysts to review the previous year's results.
"We are talking with the property owner to either sublet some space ourselves, or to share the property.
"The store has not given us the satisfaction we originally expected," said Meyer. It opened in September 1991.
Meyer declined comment on recent reports that Nike has its eye on the East 57th Street site.
[In New York, Georges Graf, president of the 57th Street Galeries, said the store had an operating loss of $11.6 million last year, representing a 14.7 percent improvement over the year before. [He said the figure cited by Meyer was a net loss, including the store's "considerable burden" from real estate, interest and tax expenses.
[While sales were flat, margins improved by 7.3 percent to 38.5 percent, Graf added. He also said the store cut expenses by $1.5 million last year.]
A year earlier, the firm posted net profit of 69 million francs on sales of 31.5 billion francs.
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