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Galeries Lafayette Plots International Expansion

The department store operator said Friday it would open between five and seven new locations before 2015.

PARIS — Citing dynamic growth indicators, Galeries Lafayette plans to step up its international expansion, and spruce up its French network, including an overhaul of the sprawling Boulevard Haussmann flagship here.

The department store operator said Friday it would open between five and seven new locations before 2015, including in Jakarta in Indonesia, Istanbul in Turkey and Doha in Qatar. Galeries Lafayette previously revealed plans to open in Beijing next year as part of a joint venture with Hong Kong-based investment holding company I.T Limited.

Galeries Lafayette operates 59 locations in France, and three abroad: in Casablanca, Berlin and Dubai. It noted sales in the latter two units, respectively up 14 percent and 45 percent, offer “proof of the potential of the brand in international markets,” said chief executive officer Paul Delaoutre. Casablanca opened last December.

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Delaoutre noted that the Haussmann unit, a magnet for tourists in Paris, saw sales surge 16 percent in the first four months of 2012.

Last year, the retailer posted revenues of 2.9 billion euros, or $4.04 billion at average exchange, a 7 percent gain versus 2010 despite general weakness in the apparel segment. Sales in the Paris flagship gained 14 percent, compensating for a 2 percent gain in its provincial stores.

Shoes, beauty, lingerie, gourmet foods, accessories and men’s wear were among departments showing particularly strong growth, the company said.

The 710,000-square-foot Boulevard Haussmann flagship, which attracted more than 30 million visitors last year, will undergo a renovation that will see more than half of selling space completely revamped.

The unit generated 2011 revenues approaching 1.4 billion euros, or $1.95 billion, with leather goods, shoes, watches and jewelry among star categories.

The main floor is slated to get a broader assortment of luxury brands, and multi-level shops for Cartier, Chanel and Vuitton. Children’s wear is to get its own floor.

More than half of the company’s flagship stores are also slated for renovation, including units in Nantes, Marseilles, Nice, Lyon, Strasbourg and Toulouse, with work in some continuing through 2014.

Galeries Lafayette said it would also put more muscle behind its e-commerce site, aiming to have the channel account for 10 percent of revenues within two years.

Paris’s biggest department stores — including Le Bon Marché and Printemps — are in the midst of major renovations as the city continues to enjoy strong tourist flows, including from China.