"Never knowingly cheaper" Galeries Lafayette Tip by drgrcook

Galeries Lafayette, Nice: 8 reviews and 11 photos

There are two versions in Galeries Lafayette in Nice, one positioned centrally in Avenue Jean Medicin adjacent to Place Massena and the other, a modern building in the out of town Cap 3000 the other side of the Var river near the airport.

The stores are part of a national chain, the most famous and architecturally manificent being in Boulevard Haussman in Paris. My comments apply to all three of these that I have visited.

Typical of British department stores but with a French flavour these stores offer a bewildering range of top quality goods and designer clothes.

The staff are surly and unhelpful when you can find one, and when a purchase is decided upon they are reluctant to take the money.

The store in Nice is like a doughnut so that the shopper walks round in a large circle, the elevators, escalators and offices being in the middle. Around each floor there are three or four cash desks, of which only one seems to be ever open.

What to buy: Only those items unavailable anywhere else.

The French love their gift wrapping and the cheapest of items is invariably dressed up like a dogs dinner on request leading to long slow queues. These queues are a social event with the teller seeming to know every customer and having at least three months gossip to catch up on.

At the end of the wrapping and chatting transaction the customers seem to be surprised that payment has to be made and the search for the cheque-book begins. Yes - a cheque!

It seems that the cheque is the preferred method of payment and involves a ritual search for it, followed by a further search for identity documents. The cheque is written out, but not handed over until the counterfoil has been filled in and the new balance calculated. Once the teller has the cheque and documents, the next stage is to call another member of staff to verify the documents. At this stage two or three other staff turn up out of nowhere and an animated discussion takes place between all three or four people plus the customer, who instead of looking like someone whose status was in doubt (as I would,) smiles and chats in a relaxed way for the next 5 minutes.

After all is settled and and further pleasantries exchanged the next customer goes through the same ritual, the other staff disappearing as mysteriously as they appeared.

When I arrive at the till I wave away the offer of wrapping, key in my Carte Bleue number and hot-foot it away in 60 seconds flat - always assuming that I have not picked up an item without a barcode, in which case a search of the whole floor has to be done to find a coded one.

Always check there is a barcode!

-Or go to Carrefour - but that is another story!

What to pay: More than everywhere else.

The prices are incredible and presumably they have a squad of spies checking prices in other shops to make sure that nowhere is more expensive - the opposite of the British stores approach (except Harrods and Harvey Nicholls).

Directions: Place Massena. On the right just up Avenue Jean Medicin.
othercontact: fax :
Theme: Department Store

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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