The iconic Pont-Neuf department store, La Samaritaine, returns to Paris sixteen years after its closure, except this time, LVMH are changing the nature of the physical shopping experience with immersive retail
As today marks the official inauguration of La Samaritaine, the landmark department store that captured the hearts of Parisiennes from the late 19th Century to 2005, the reopening will bring a new chapter for the fashion centric city and the future of luxury retail.
Following the closure almost 16 years ago due to safety fears, the decadent art nouveau building has been restored at the hands of the opulent goods conglomerate, LVMH. Located on the First Arrondissement, the epochal building has long prided itself as a site of indulgence for travellers and locals alike, where the time spent meandering through the building is as magnificent an experience as the products provided.
LVMH’s early ownership and plans for restoration
Following LVMH’s ownership of 55% of the monument back in 2001, and the remainder later in 2021, €750 million has been allocated in the renovation. The retail renaissance comes at a time when the world has been indoctrinated into online shopping over the past year, offering a curated consumer experience across 70,000metres squared. Honouring its founders, Ernest and Marie-Louise Cognacq-Jay, original art deco architecture and rectangular glass atrium has been restored alongside more contemporary designs by the Japanese architectural firm SANAA, which surrounds the building.
Altering the meaning of the retail experience
A beacon of hope in the post-pandemic era, LVMH chairman and CEO BernardArnault has shared his vision for the future of the department store. “I am both delighted and proud to see La Samaritaine, a true institution to which Parisians have always been deeply attached, restored to its magnificent beauty and iconic stature. The long history of La Samaritaine has been shaped by bold vision, prosperity and a sense of solidarity. With this new chapter, the story will now continue long into the future.”