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Magasin ou magazine ?

24/09/2009 - par Mark Tungate (tungateinparis@hotmail.com)

It's not every day that I get to have lunch with Carole Bouquet. And it's not every day that I have lunch at the Galeries Lafayette, either. But there we were, Carole and me, surrounded by journalists and executives, at a wine-tasting event in the store's third-floor restaurant. Actress and winemaker Carole was there to present her wine (Sangue d'Oro Passito di Pantelleria) along with nine other lady vigneronnes. Lunch was courtesy of Michelin-starred chef Reine Sammut.
These days, department stores know that they have to communicate about more than just clothing. Clothes we can buy anywhere – especially online. But just like its neighbour, Printemps, the Galeries Lafayette has realised that a store needs to offer so much more. In this case, it was drawing attention to its food and wine. But it has also scored a coup recently with its window displays by filmmaker David Lynch. In addition, it has expanded its bookstore and organised a series of events under the broad name Women of Influence.
In order to fight the crisis and lure customers away from the internet, stores need to play the role of fashion magazines. Their contents should include design, art, literature and, yes, gastronomy. Riding the escalators is like turning pages. Culture is the future of retail.

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