PARIS — Galeries Lafayette has finally been cleared to reopen its storied Boulevard Haussmann flagship on Saturday, nearly three months after the spread of the coronavirus prompted the shuttering of stores across France and Europe.
Executives had prepared for the resumption of business, and hoped it would be allowed to reopen earlier this month along with other stores in the group, including the Champs-Élysées flagship and BHV Marais, but government authorities ruled the sizable flagship would have to wait until a later stage.
“It sends a strong signal to French retailing that business is resuming and we are delighted about that,” said Nicolas Houzé, chief executive officer of Galeries Lafayette and BHV Marais.
The opening comes on the heels of neighboring rival Printemps, which reopened Thursday. That store obtained authorization after lodging an appeal with an administrative court, pledging to close passageways between the cluster of buildings housing different departments.
Galeries Lafayette officials have been prepping the store by erecting plexiglass barriers at checkout stands, setting up hand sanitizer at various points around the store and marking social distancing spaces on floors.
Shoppers will be able to move easily in the three main buildings that make up the flagship, noted the group. Discounts of up to 50 percent and a range of services including mobile payment, e-reservation and click and collect will also serve to entice shoppers.
Retail activity business has resumed in France since the first wave of store openings on May 11, and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said this week that a further easing of restrictions would be allowed following encouraging results in efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.