PARIS — French department store Galeries Lafayette is reviewing dozens of stores in its domestic network as part of a process that could result in selling some and transforming them into franchises, according to a union official.
The retailer’s management revealed the plans during a works council meeting with union representatives this month and indicated that there are three potential buyers for some of the stores, according to the official, who asked to remain anonymous because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.
“The decision is going to be made quickly,” the person said, citing a likely time frame between mid-December and the end of the year.
Galeries Lafayette declined to comment.
The retailer is seeking to reduce the proportion of business it generates in France, and is setting up in markets like China and the Middle East, with a five-year expansion goal of 20 stores outside its home market. It is said to be exploring options for roughly half of its 57 stores in France.
The company is also forging deeper into online territory, boosted recently by its acquisition of the catalogue-turned-online business La Redoute.