Shoppers wearing masks queued up to browse through luxury boutiques inside Printemps’ main Paris store. The development marks the reopening of one of the Paris’ last major department stores, which had remained shut for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic which emerged from Wuhan, China.
Owned by Qatari investors, Printemps is one of the pre-eminent French department stores alongside Galeries Lafayette, and is a big draw for tourists in Paris.
The store saw dozens of shoppers, including many Asian residents in Paris, queuing up outside the store as it opened its doors with many making a beeline to the Louis Vuitton shop to snag some best selling bag models.
Once international tourism resume, revenues are likely to be back to normal. International visitors account of nearly 50% of its sales.
“It’s important that we are able to reopen quickly and re-launch our activity, even if we know that we will not have the same revenues as last year,” said Pierre Pelarrey, general director of Printemps’ flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann.
In the queue was a business school student Celia Hebeterne who bought an Alexander McQueen sneakers and a Gucci scarf as a gift for a friend.
“Well, we went through two months of lockdown, we stayed safe. And now, we can enjoy some things, do some shopping,” said Emma Masson, an university student, as she shopped alongside Hebeterne.