16 years ago, LVMH started a massive renovation on one of Paris’s forgotten icons. La Samaritaine, has finally been completed and transformed into a massive 215,000 square foot retail space.

Bernard Arnault, the who earlier this year usurped Jeff Bezos’s position as the richest person in the world, has owned the building since way back in 2001. He had to close the building in 2005 because of some serious safety issues. So, Arnault used his billions to renovate the iconic Parisian building.

La Samaritaine is finally done after 16 years of construction. This was cause for enough celebration that the French President, Emmanuel Macron, was there for the inauguration on Monday.

Bernard Arnault

The building will have a focus on luxury goods but they apparently are not the only focus. La Samaritaine has taken a page from Harrods in London, by offering prices and products suitable for all incomes. This will help the building become a common stop for tourists, not just the high-spending rich.

A DFS spokesperson for DFS Group, the group that runs LVMH’s retail practices, told Forbes,

“In one section of the store called House of Perfume, prices range from €3,000 to €300,000, but in Boutique Loulou, for instance, we will sell a range of items including some with very low pricing.”

Boutqiue Loulou will be a bit like a high fashion gift shop with items ranging from last minute gifts, souvenirs, fashion products, lacquered jewellery, and food. It’s not something to get too excited about, as I’m sure that while it will be cheaper in comparison the rest of the store, it will still be just as expensive as any other tourist gift shop.   

The goal here seems to be to provide a shopping experience rather than just a storefront. Eléonore de Boysson, region president Europe and Middle East at DFS Group said at a press conference,

“This is not just a place for people to shop but witness the avant-garde of creation; taste the cuisine of a contemporary chef; meet young artists; and treat themselves to a piece of luxury. It will become a must-see sight in one of the most upcoming districts in the city.”

For all the talk about inclusivity for everyone with varying prices, that isn’t what La Samaritaine is really going for. It’s about luxury first and foremost. De Boysson continued,

“This is one of the greatest concept stores in the world. We have more than 600 brands with 50 that will be exclusive to Samaritaine, and more than 400 products that will only be found here.”

Doesn’t sound inclusive but it does sound very nice. You’ve got the big names in there like Louis Vuitton and Dior, but there’s also smaller brands like Ganni, Maje, and Nanushka. Next time I’m in Paris, I’ll probably check it out more out of curiosity than anything else.

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