PARIS — Times may be tough, but Galeries Lafayette hopes the tough are going shopping for luxury items.

This story first appeared in the December 17, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The French department store chain has doubled the first floor space allocated to luxury and designer brands in its Boulevard Haussmann flagship here.

The upscale drive comes soon after neighboring store Printemps this fall completed a major refurbishment in a move designed to reposition itself as an upmarket shopping destination.

Galeries Lafayette’s new 16,145-square-foot space (formerly the shoe department, which was relocated to the basement level) showcases luxury and designer labels, including Stella McCartney, Nina Ricci, Isabel Marant, Diane von Furstenberg and Vivienne Westwood. Helmut Lang, Acne and accessories by Martin Margiela round out the upscale mix.

Meanwhile, a premium jeans section as well as a space devoted to ethical fashion, with brands such as Nu, Valentine Gauthier and Les Fées de Bengale, will also claim a corner of the revamped space.

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