HONG KONG — The upscale department store operator Galeries Lafayette will open its second China store in Shanghai's L Mall.The location will be on the east side of the river in Pudong and is approximately 23,100 square meters, according to a statement from I.T Ltd., who is the joint venture partner for Galeries Lafayette in China. The store is due to open in the second half of the financial year ending Feb. 28, 2019.According to the announcement, the store will be funded by Galeries Lafayette China's internal resources and will not require additional working capital from the two shareholders.The company has been focusing on its international expansion, opening its first stores in Istanbul in May and Dubai just before that. It opened its current Beijing store back in 2013 with a glitzy ceremony inviting actors including Audrey Tautou and Aaron Kwok to attend, although its first entry to the market was 15 years prior to that and saw them pull out of the country for a time.The department store format overall in China has been struggling under the dual threat of shopping malls and e-commerce. This year alone has seen the delisting of two major players — Intime was privatized in an offer from the company management and Alibaba, and New World Department Stores China is in the final process of completing its delisting.However, I.T Ltd., which also operates stores under its own name in mainland China, said in its most recent earnings on August 14 that it was proving to be a stable market, and reported same store sales growth for that market of 4.9 percent year over year for the quarter ended May 31.
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