French department store chain Galeries Lafayette aims to open its first boutique concept shop in Chongqing in December, tapping into the expanding southwest Chinese market.

Chongqing 100 Mall, which is located in the International Land-Sea Center and is scheduled to become the city’s tallest building, has inked a lease with the corporation. The Chongqing location of the French department store operator will be 48,438sq ft.

According to the company, this will be “a differentiated Galeries Lafayette project complementary to the targeted accessible brand mix” that will appeal to the target demographic. The store will offer “brands entering the Chongqing market for the first time.”

Vanke, the Chinese real estate conglomerate behind the 458m-high tower, aims to develop a city renewal plan around it. The project, which includes a shopping mall, office space, and the world’s highest Banyan Tree Hotel, is located in a riverbank neighbourhood among tourist attractions. To raise its reputation, Chongqing 100 Mall added tenants such as Tsutaya Books, a well-known Japanese bookstore, and BLT, a high-end supermarket.

“With Galeries Lafayette on board, luxury and high-end fashion brands will follow suit,” said Bin Du of real estate management firm HanBroad. “How the project turns out depends on who’s their retail operator and if they have enough fashion experience.”