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PARIS — Paris department store Le Bon Marché has received the green light from planning authorities for a wide-ranging revamp that will increase its surface by 43,000 square feet, a source familiar with the plans said Thursday.
The renovations will be launched in 2012 and will continue in stages over the next five years, the source said. The first stage, due to be completed in the second half of next year, will create a wine bar and wine cellar adjacent to the men’s wear department located in the basement.
The project is understood to be the brainchild of Patrice Wagner, who took over as chairman and chief executive officer of Le Bon Marché, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, in October 2010. Officials at Le Bon Marché declined to comment on the renovation plans.
The project is designed to create a better connection between the main building of the department store, located on the French capital’s Left Bank, and its gourmet food store La Grande Epicerie de Paris, located across the Rue du Bac. A first-floor footbridge links the adjacent spaces.
“The idea is clearly to promote links between La Grande Epicerie and Le Bon Marché, and the men’s wear department is an excellent way to establish that connection,” the source said.
Wagner also plans to expand the food store by creating a space devoted to tableware and cooking utensils on the first floor of La Grande Epicerie, which currently houses contemporary fashion.
La Grande Epicerie de Paris generated revenues of 65 million euros, or $86.3 million, in 2010, according to a statement filed with the French commercial court.