Paris: Galeries Lafayette sees fall in foreign shoppers

Paris's flagship stores are suffering due to a fall in the number of foreign shoppers coming through their doors.

Paris: Galeries Lafayette sees fall in foreign shoppers
Photo: AFP

France's Galeries Lafayette saw a 15-percent drop in foreign shoppers at its flagship Paris store in the first half of 2016 after the November terror attacks, the upscale chain said Wednesday.

The decline worsened over the summer and into September, “reaching 20 percent” compared with the same period last year, CEO Nicholas Houze told a press briefing.

While July sales helped the figures, August “was a lot quieter… and September remains difficult,” he said.

The January-to-June period saw a 5.9-percent drop in turnover for the chain, from 1.7 billion to 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion), Houze added.

Visitors from China, Taiwan and the United States normally account for half of the company's turnover.

But a string of terror attacks has dented France's appeal among tourists, with the number of arrivals falling around 8 percent this year compared to 2015, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

Houze said he was confident that foreign shoppers would return, since “Paris is still a dream destination.”

Meanwhile Galeries Lafayette's Beijing store, opened in 2013, enjoyed a 15-percent increase in turnover to around 100 million euros in the first half of the year, Houze said.

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France’s favourite supermarket revealed

With their wide range of fresh fruit and veg and extensive cheese and charcuterie selections, French supermarkets are popular with visitors - but which chain do the French themselves prefer?

France's favourite supermarket revealed

E. Leclerc is the nation’s favourite supermarket, according to the study conducted by OpinionWay for Bonial, published on Tuesday.

Of around 5,000 people surveyed, 23 percent listed Leclerc as the place where they do the majority of their shopping. Carrefour came second, favoured by 21 percent of people, followed by Intermarché (12 percent).

German discount retailer Lidl came in fourth with 9 percent, although 45 percent of French people had done some of their shopping in Lidl over the past year.

READ ALSO Readers’ tips: Which supermarket in France is the best to shop at?

Grand Frais, the supermarket which many of our readers recommended in 2018, is where only 1 percent of people in France do most of their shopping.

Organic stores may be gaining in popularity in France, but the results of the survey show that they are a long way from becoming mass-market. The most popular was Bicoop, which 9 percent of people said they had visited over a twelve-month period, followed by Naturalia and Bio c’ Bon (3 percent each).

When it comes to food shopping, there are also significant regional variations. The map below shows the leading supermarket in each of France’s 13 metropolitan regions.

Graphic: Bonial.

While Leclerc and Carrefour dominate 11 of the 13 regions between them, Système U is over-represented in the Pays de la Loire, where 34 percent of people do most of their shopping in the chain, compared to only 8 percent at a national level.

Leclerc meanwhile is the preferred chain of just 13 percent of people in the Paris region, where many people use smaller city centre stores rather than the large hyper-marchés.

Respondents also ranked Leclerc first for its range of products and special offers, while Lidl came out on top when it comes to price.