By  on October 20, 2013

BEIJING — Throngs of enthralled Beijingers gathered around a glittering replica of the Eiffel Tower Friday night in the center of the Chinese capital for a glimpse of the city’s latest shopping showpiece — Galeries Lafayette’s newly opened 350,000-square-foot department store.

Though the department store is new to many in China, the brand is well known to the country’s high-fashion set, many of whom have traveled to Paris for shopping sprees at its flagship. The Beijing store, the company’s 65th worldwide, will feature 500 shops-in-shop and is second in size only to the Paris one. A ring of police held onlookers in check, as executives spoke from the podium and watched a dynamic traditional Chinese dragon dance. Security did not seem to dampen enthusiasm.

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