Printemps Group to Open Doha Flagship with 7-Star Hotel & Theme Park

Paris department store group Printemps has its sights on global expansion. At a press conference this morning in Paris, CEO Paolo de Cesare announced that it will open a 30,000-square-meter flagship in Qatar’s Doha.

The multibillion-dollar megastore complex will feature a seven-star hotel, alongside luxury residences, a theme park, cinema complex and bowling alley.

The launch is set for 2021 and will be the group’s second-largest store to date. Printemps’ Haussmann monolith stands at 45,000 square meters.

In the same year, de Cesare will also launch a 2,500-square-meter luxury concept store in Milan in the city’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele area. The latter will have a similar format to Printemps’ Louvre outlet in Paris.

The next three years also mark a new phase of renovation for Printemps Haussmann, he said. By 2021, the shoe emporium, which spans the entire fifth floor of the women’s store, will be completely renovated. The fourth floors of both the women’s and men’s stores will also be entirely revamped with a focus on luxury fashion and the outdoors market, while a partnership with home décor company Made in Design will expand its home business by some 60%.

It may have been slow to the digital party (only Citadium, the group’s sneaker and streetwear arm and Tendences.com have e-tail thus far), but Printemps will launch a fully functioning luxury e-tail at the start of 2020 with a curated lineup of 150 brands. The aim by 2030 is to have a 25-30% digital business as opposed to the 10% it has now.

While the global department store business is facing enormous challenges, the French business has been experiencing growth in the last 10 years, he said — Printemps Group alone has grown some 70% — “this French exception to the global trend is the result of strong development strategies and investment in innovation and renovation,” de Cesare said.

“In France, the department store still gives a superior retail experience to any other retail channel,” he continued, adding that fewer stores than the glut in the United Kingdom and United States, enables it to put in more investment and give a better service. “It’s not a problem of format,” he noted, “rather a matter of vision and strategy.”

Even this year, despite a 24% dip in revenues during the worst period of the gilets jaunes demonstrations, the group ended the fiscal year with a growth of 3%.

His ambitions for the group over the next 10 years, he said, is for it to emerge as a leading global omnichannel luxury and lifestyle player, with a goal “to double the business in the next 10 years, achieving $3.5 billion of sales.”

However, he concluded that the Haussmann flagship remains at the heart the operation. “Retail is very relevant, and we want to continue to provide the best shopping experience for the customer, through architecture, design, products they can’t find anywhere else plus individualized service.”

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