Luxury brand Longchamp heads to Paris’ Champs-Elysees

Luxury brand Longchamp heads to Paris’ Champs-Elysees

PARIS - The French designer firm Longchamp is opening its biggest European store on Paris' high-end shopping street, the Champs-Elysees, the firm said Tuesday.

The brand, which makes women's handbags, shoes and travel bags, reported sales of 462 million euros (US$630 million) last year, a figure it hopes will top 500 million this year thanks to the new flagship store and successes in the Asian market.

The firm's chief executive, Jean Cassegrain, told AFP he hoped the new 500 square metre (5,400 square feet) store will attract not only Parisians but also "tourists, especially Asian shoppers, who are very important customers for us."

The firm saw sales jump by 75 per cent between 2010 and 2012 thanks to a boom in demand from international clients, and has been opening new stores at a rate of 15-20 a year.

"It has really taken off, particularly in Asia. The Chinese are now our second-biggest clients after the French," Cassegrain said.

Longchamp, which has been controlled by the same family since it was founded in 1948, says international sales now account for two thirds of the total.

The brand, whose goods feature a leaping horse motif, currently has a presence in over 100 countries.

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