PARIS – Galeries Lafayette has tapped Paul Burke as the group’s first chief executive officer for China.

Burke, who has 25 years of international experience in the retail sector, joined Galeries Lafayette from Lane Crawford, Hong Kong’s upscale retailer, where he served as advisor to the ceo.

The appointment follows the opening of the French department store’s first China unit in Beijing in 2013. Spanning 350,000 square feet and featuring 500 shop-in-shops, the location is second in size only to the group’s flagship in Paris.

Burke, who took up the new post on Sept. 1, now manages the China store and oversees the group’s expansion in the region, the company said on Tuesday. A series of other openings are slated for the coming years.

Burke reports to Nicolas Houzé, ceo of Galeries Lafayette Group’s department store division, as well as Sham Kar Wai, chairman of I.T. Ltd., the fashion retailer specialist with headquarters in Hong Kong that acts as the group’s local partner in the region. Burke previously held operational positions at Adidas, Luxxotica and A.S. Watson, with the last 15 years spent in Asia.

Galeries Lafayette operates a network of 64 stores, five of which are outside of France, including Jakarta, Berlin, Casablanca, Dubai and Beijing.

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