PARIS — LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton on Wednesday appointed Philippe de Beauvoir to pilot its recently acquired Right Bank department store, La Samaritaine.
The seasoned retail executive, credited by LVMH for turning around the luxury group’s Le Bon Marche department store, will serve as president and chief executive of the landmark La Samaritaine, located in central Paris between the Seine river and the Rue de Rivoli. He will continue as president of Le Bon Marche, where he has worked since LVMH acquired the Left Bank unit in 1988. Prior to that, he managed various Printemps department stores, controlled by rival group Pinault-Printemps-Redoute.
De Beauvoir said that “La Samaritaine holds incredible potential for development.”
LVMH purchased a controlling 51 percent stake in the 130-year-old store last November for about $197 million. The group plans to convert one of the store’s four buildings to house a new Sephora unit, as well as a flagship and headquarters for its Kenzo fashion business.
De Beauvoir said that LVMH has earmarked about $71 million to renovate the 45,000-square-foot store over the next five years. Although he declined to share many details, he said the store will house many of the luxury brands in the LVMH stable, which include Louis Vuitton, Celine, Christian Dior and Givenchy.
But unlike Le Bon Marche, where sales have increased 45 percent since 1995, to $257 million last year, the store will not be exclusively geared toward luxury.
“Considering the nature of the neighborhood, which is quite popular, the store will be divided between luxury and middle-market items,” said de Beauvoir.
Sales at La Samaritaine were $200 million for 2000.
Although the Rue de Rivoli had lost favor with shoppers in recent years, it has recently become one of the most active retail fronts in Paris. This month alone, French lingerie and apparel firm Etam and We, the Dutch men’s and women’s firm, will each inaugurate flagships on the strip. Gap, Hennes & Mauritz and Adidas are among other newcomers.