PARIS -- Givenchy is venturing across the Seine with plans to open its first freestanding store on the Left Bank this summer.
The couture house bought the business rights to a 1,300-square-foot duplex store, on the fashionable rue du Cherche Midi. The company will not own the actual property, however.
The boutique, formerly a florist, will carry the luxury ready-to-wear line, the Boutiques Givenchy diffusion collection, and women's accessories, said Thierri Draber, the director of Givenchy's women's division.
Givenchy now has only one sales point on the Left Bank, a corner for its diffusion line at the Au Bon Marche department store, explained Draber. "There has also been a movement of luxury goods stores to the Left Bank," he said, in a reference to designers such as Ungaro, who opened a store last week.
Renovation is expected to begin next month, and the house hopes to open the store sometime in July. The store's first deliveries will be fall-winter 1994-95 merchandise, Draber said.
Givenchy boasts three freestanding stores on the Right Bank and has recently expanded its Boutiques Givenchy corner at Galeries Lafayette from about 280 square feet to 440 square feet.
Draber said that Givenchy's ready-to-wear lines performed well last year. Sales for the diffusion line were up 15 percent compared with 1992, while the luxury ready-to-wear posted 44 percent growth. Precise figures were not disclosed.
Sales at the freestanding franchised store on rue du Faubourg St. Honore, which carries the full range of Givenchy's women's apparel and accessories, climbed 25 percent last year and 50 percent for the second half, according to Draber.
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