DFS Group (DFS) last week announced its entry into Europe. The landmark project will take place in Venice, Italy. DFS says it will create a new destination for culture and commerce on the famous Grand Canal in an historic building in Venice, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi.
DFS is partnering with Edizione, a private, unlisted company which is wholly controlled by Italy’s Benetton family.
The store will go beyond the concept of a conventional department store. It will act as an extra venue for the city, promoting public events and liaising with the city’s cultural institutions, says the company statement.
The Fondaco dei Tedeschi was first constructed in 1228 as a place of exchange for German merchants and used for centuries to trade spices, silk and other goods between the Orient and Northern Europe. It was twice destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 16th century, before being transformed into a customs house under Napoleon. The last restoration, before today, dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century.
Current plans for its restoration are built on a concept to re-establish the historic Venetian connection between culture and commerce which will not only attract discerning travelers but also give Venetians the opportunity to indulge in all the things for which their city is renowned.
Antonio Belloni, Group Managing Director of DFS parent company LVMH, commented: “… LVMH has been waiting for the right opportunity and partners for DFS’ European entry and hence we are thrilled to collaborate with Edizione, and the city and people of Venice in offering a perfect combination of history, cultural traditions, craftsmanship, retail and hospitality in this outstanding location.”