As of tomorrow, the famous luxury department store La Samaritaine will be open to the public again. The official inauguration of the fully renovated complex in the heart of Paris took place yesterday in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron.
La Samaritaine, located on Rue de Rivoli, opened its doors more than 150 years ago. In 2005, the department store was closed for renovation works, which ultimately lasted 16 years. Owner LVMH, Bernard Arnault's luxury group, has spent 750 million euros in recent years renovating the grand building, which was given a contemporary facade but otherwise retained its characteristic and authentic elements. For example, the beautiful glass roof with an iron frame in the style of Eiffel was restored in all its glory. The mosaics and wrought-iron balustrades were also retained.
The retail surface area of the department store has been reduced from 30,000 to 20,000 sqm and will display products from 600 luxury labels. Furthermore, La Samaritaine now includes a luxury hotel with 72 rooms, 15,000 sqm of office space, a nursery and several restaurants.
The department store was supposed to reopen last year to mark the 150th anniversary of the building, but the Covid crisis put a spanner in the works. For the French President, the reopening, therefore, symbolises the end of the health crisis. "We are ready for the revival after 15 months of crisis", he said.