Pronounced in French (gal er ee – la fay et). It is almost an icon and landmark, a must see for sure in Paris. Add it to your list of things to do and see while in Paris.
Les Galeries is a very upscale French department store chain. It’s the place to hang, to see and be seen. It’s flagship store is on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. There are now other stores in France including Nice but also in other countries. As part of the Groupe Galeries Lafayette, the store recorded earning of over 1 billion euros in 2009.
A little history of these famed shopping centers, in 1895, Theophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn opened a fashion store in a small haberdashery shop on the corner of rue Lafayette and Chausee d’Antin. The next year their little company purchased the entire building and in time kept purchasing the buildings all the way to the Boulevard Haussmann. Baden commissioned the architect Georges Chedanne and his pupil Ferdinand Chanut. This was a stroke of genius as these two men included one of the most beautiful round domed glass ceilings. If you are going to see the beautiful stained glass of the Sainte Chappelle might as well stop and see what it is like to shop under the same beauty.
There are five stories one can explore each level hosting a home store, a mens store, a womens clothing, a shoe section and the main floor. Directly beneath this stunning arched glass skylight is the perfume gallery.
The store hosts a free weekly fashion show so be sure not to miss. The large glass windows that line the outside of the store are filled with show stopping advertisement and themed appropriately with the season. A delight for children and adults alike.
The concept has been so popular that Berlin, Casablanca and Jakarta have opened stores. Coming soon are Beijing and Milan.
Sadly for the USA the Trump Tower location was not successful and closed after 3 years. So be sure you put it on your list of highlights the next time you are in Paris.
After coming back from Paris I realized that there is no such stores as Galeries Lafayette in United States. The closest thing would be Nordstrom flagship store.
This shopping mecca is hard to beat. It carries popular brands (such as Guess and DKNY) along with in-house lines (Impulse, INC International Concepts) and prime designer collections (Michael by Michael Kors and Rachel by Rachel Roy). You can get huge discounts if you use coupons for out of town visitors (gift with purchase or 10% off) Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy online.