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Printemps Sets First Openings Since ’82

The French department store chain plans to open two new stores in 2014, including a smaller-format store in a shopping mall adjacent to the Louvre.

PARIS — French department store chain Printemps plans to open two new stores in 2014, marking first new additions to its retail network in more than 30 years.

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Printemps chairman and chief executive officer Paolo de Cesare said an administrative commission has approved the retailer’s plan to open a smaller-format department store in the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall adjacent to the Louvre, the world’s most visited art museum with close to 9 million people per year.

“It’s the first step of a long process, so we are at an early stage of this project, and if everything goes well, we’re talking 2014,” he said.

The 32,000-square-foot unit will take over the space formerly occupied by a Virgin Megastore, de Cesare said, adding that the retailer would build a mezzanine in order to increase the selling space of the store.

“It’s a relatively small format for us, but it’s a good format to express some of our beautiful brands and trends and selections,” he noted.

“We are starting just now to work on it from a commercial standpoint, from a design standpoint, so I think early next year we should be able to communicate a bit more on how we intend to position this store,” he added.

In addition, Printemps plans to open a two-story, 64,500-square-foot store within the seafront Terrasses du Port mall in the southern French city of Marseille in 2014. The unit will carry women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, accessories and beauty, de Cesare said.

“We thought there was an opportunity to continue to go upmarket and go towards luxury, but we didn’t want to do a statutory luxury, so our concept is relaxed luxury, which I think embodies very well our approach to luxury — a bit pioneering, generous and audacious,” he said.

Printemps has 15 stores in France in addition to its Boulevard Haussmann flagship in Paris. Its last store opening was in Marseille in 1982.