BOTTOMING OUT:Paris retailer Galeries Lafayette blamed a drop in tourism, war in Iraq and an unusually hot summer for a $10.1 million, or 8.9 million euros, first-half loss in its Galeries Lafayette/ Nouvelles Galeries department store division. Overall, the group, with interests that span the Monoprix grocery chain to financial services, said net profits grew 1 percent to $25.1 million, or 22 million euros, from $24.9 million, or 21.8 million euros, a year ago. As reported, sales in the first half increased 1.5 percent to $2.99 billion, or 2.63 billion euros, from $2.95 billion, or 2.59 billion euros, last year. Dollar figures are converted at current exchange rates. At a news conference, Galeries Lafayette co-chairmen Philippe Houze and Philippe Lemoine said sales at department stores dropped 1.9 percent in the second quarter after an increase of 4.8 percent in the first. They said sales bottomed out at the flagship Boulevard Haussmann in May, as they slumped 40 percent from the year earlier. “We’ve seen a light improvement in September,” said Lemoine. He declined to provide sales targets for the end of the year. — Robert Murphy

LOSING A TITLE: Germany’s crowded fashion magazine market recently thinned. The last German edition of Marie Claire hit the newsstands last month. The German Marie Claire had been published by M.C. Verlagsgesellschaft in Munich, a joint venture between Marie Claire Album SA Paris and Gruner + Jahr AG & Co. KG, Hamburg. The magazine debuted in 1990, and circulation was last placed at 151,000. Rolf Wickmann, a board member of Gruner + Jahr, said, “In the last economically weak years, Marie Claire has continuously lost turnover in an extremely competitive market.”

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