French luxury goods chain Galeries Lafayette is looking at launching a department store in Shanghai, China, just-style has learnt.

Galeries Lafayette Department Stores CEO Paul Delaoutre told just-style: "It is a potential project, a big move and a big decision to make. We are going through all the options with our partners there. Our strategy is to have as many stores as possible in China."

Speaking at the World Retail Conference in Barcelona today (9 April), Delaoutre also said that the retailer was looking to tap into other offerings aside from luxury in its stores. At the company's flagship store, only around 60% of sales are luxury goods, he said.

"We don't consider ourselves as being only a luxury goods retailer," Delaoutre added.

The luxury goods market has experienced a boom in recent months and the sector's growth in emerging markets is estimated at 46%. This has been evident as US labels Bloomingdales and DKNY opened flagship stores in China.

Group Galeries Lafayette, which sells brand including Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent, posted earnings up 12.6% to EUR572m last year.

In total, the group operates 524 outlets in France - with the Galeries Lafayette chain itself making up 34% of sales in 2004.

By Joe Ayling