Paris’ famed Galeries Lafayette department store, which receives some 37 million visitors every year — many of them tourists — reopens this weekend after being shuttered for nearly three months by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Closed along with most other retailers since mid-March, the massive store on Boulevard Haussmann in central Paris opened its doors open from 11am on Saturday.
France started emerging from two-months of lockdown on 11 May, although the larger Paris region remains in an “orange” zone of high coronavirus vigilance and has been slower to return to business as usual.
The COVID-19 epidemic has killed over 28,000 people in France, the world’s fourth-highest reported toll.
Inaugurated in 1912, the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann claims on its website to be Europe’s biggest retailer in terms of sales, with nearly 40 million clients annually.
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À la vie, à l’amour, accueillons les beaux jours ! Les portes de votre magasin Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann sont à nouveau ouvertes. Quelle joie de vous retrouver ! ♥️ Tout est mis en œuvre pour vous accueillir sereinement et dans les meilleures conditions afin d’assurer votre sécurité et celle de nos salariés. Nous vous accueillons de 11h à 19h 7/7 pour combler toutes vos envies en mode, beauté et gastronomie. Grâce à vous, les Galeries Lafayette sont depuis 125 ans des lieux de rencontre, de création et de partage. Merci de votre fidélité et votre confiance. . #GaleriesLafayette #Opening #WelcomeBack
Even as the lockdown was partially lifted in France, shops with more than 40,000sqm (430,000sqft) of floor space were forbidden to open before 10 July due to the continued threat posed by the virus.
This was challenged by Galeries Lafayette and rival luxury store Printemps, which reopened Thursday after a favourable court ruling.
In the case of Galeries Lafayette, permission came from the police department in Paris.
It will take some time for sales numbers to return to pre-Coronavirus levels, given the lack of foreign shoppers as international travel remains largely shut down.
Main image: Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann