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Louis Vuitton Will Open Stores in Lebanon, Mongolia This Year
By Ayesha Daya
Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Louis Vuitton, a brand of the largest luxury goods maker LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, will open its first store in Lebanon and one in Mongolia this year, the brand’s chief executive officer said.
Louis Vuitton did not cut its investment in new stores in 2009 and has no plans to close any shops in the next 12 months, Yves Carcelle said at the opening of its first so-called global store in Dubai today.
“Sometimes in our industry there is a tendency to follow your ego and sometimes open stores where you don’t have the market, or stores too big for your potential -- we never do that,” Carcelle said. “When we open a big store, we know that there is a market, we know the financials. So we never have to close a store for economic reasons.”
Gianni Versace SpA said Oct. 7 it will close its Japanese stores and review its entire business strategy, as demand for luxury goods declines in the world’s second-largest economy. LVMH said in December that it scrapped plans to open a store in Ginza, one of Tokyo’s busiest shopping districts.
Louis Vuitton, which usually invests around 250 million euros ($368 million) every year on stores, hasn’t reduced its level of investment this year compared with 2008 “in spite of” the financial crisis, Carcelle said. The brand built fewer stores “but exactly the same number of square meters.”
The company has opened three stores in Dubai since 1997, and plans to double the size of its outlet in the city’s Mall of the Emirates, Carcelle said. Its global store is in Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping centre, which opened last year.
“Dubai is a very dynamic city,” he said. “At the end of the day, when it comes to the crisis, the client finds the situation of retail in Dubai very good.”
Carcelle said he was “really happy to know that Middle East capital will help” Christian Lacroix SNC, the French fashion label that filed for protection from creditors in May, survive. Lacroix received a formal offer from Emirati Sheikh Hassan ben Ali al-Naimi, according to an Oct. 8 report from Agence France-Presse.
“I don’t see why money from the Middle East, China, Russia, would not be invested in luxury companies,” he said, declining to comment on whether LVMH is seeking funding from the Persian Gulf.
Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH, will start a visit to the United Arab Emirates tomorrow.
Last Updated: October 11, 2009 08:32 EDT
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