PARIS- French department store chain Galeries Lafayette plans to open a second store in Istanbul and its first in Kuwait City in 2019, tapping into high-spending shoppers in the Middle East.
"These two projects give further substance to our goals of consolidating our positions in the Middle East where we will have a network of eight stores," Nicolas Houze, chief executive of the family-owned group said in a statement on Monday.
"(It will) bring us closer to our objective of having around 20 stores in international markets within five years."
The 7,500 square metre Kuwait City store is located in the Assima Mall, a high-profile shopping centre close to the city's central business district and will be operated under a franchise with Ali Bin Ali, a family-owned retail and luxury goods group.
The second store in Istanbul is spread over 6,000 square metres in the Vadistanbul shopping centre and is operated under a franchise with DEMSA group, a Turkish retail specialist.
The Galeries Lafayette group, known for its flagship Boulevard Haussmann store in Paris, also has stores in Berlin, Jakarta, Dubai, Beirut and Beijing.
It opened a first store in Istanbul in May 2017 and is preparing to open a store in Doha, Qatar in 2018.
In a report on the global luxury goods industry this year, Deloitte listed the Middle East as a major growth market, with high-spending in Qatar and Abu Dhabi particularly driving sales for major brands.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, editing by David Evans) ((email@example.com; +33149495432; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))