Having postponed its opening by a year, then pondered different dates in late May and early June, the department store will finally open on Saturday, June 19. It means the end of a very long wait for this historic building located right in the heart of Paris, which LVMH bought in 2001, and which closed down in 2005. After multiple administrative appeals and years of renovation work, for a €750mn investment, the site was opened to the press for a presentation in 2019. LVMH had put the running of the department store division in the hands of its DFS subsidiary, and planned to open La Samaritaine in April 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact forced the group to postpone again. La Samaritaine is set to host no less than 600 brands, including 40 exclusives (the LVMH group’s leading names, as well as those of Kering and Richemont), across an area of about 20,000m2. That's 10,000m2 less than when the department store closed and four times smaller than the footprint of La Samaritaine, which was founded by Ernest Cognacq and Marie-Louise Jaÿ in 1870.
In addition to a catering area, women's shoes, jewellery, menswear and sneakers will have their own dedicated spaces. The department store, which mixes elements of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, also features a beauty section expected to extend over more than 3,000m2. Offices, private apartments and a crèche occupy part of the 70,000 m2 complex on the banks of the Seine, which is also home to Cheval Blanc Paris, a 72-room prestige hotel designed to attract an international clientele.