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Bernard Arnault’s Bergdorf Envy

Bernard Arnault’s interest in multi-brand retail—what we used to just call department stores—dates back at least to his acquisition of Paris’s Le Bon Marché.
Bernard Arnault’s interest in multi-brand retail—what we used to just call department stores—dates back at least to his acquisition of Paris’s Le Bon Marché. Photo: Lexie Moreland/Getty Images
Lauren Sherman
August 7, 2023

In the days surrounding the grand reopening of Tiffany’s flagship in New York, last May, Fifth Avenue was practically crawling with LVMH executives. After all, it’s common practice for retailers to shop the competition, and their own stores, when in town. So it wasn’t surprising to hear that LVMH paid multiple visits that week to Bergdorf Goodman, the historic luxury department store. 

Both of Bergdorf’s buildings—including the prized women’s store on the corner of 57th and Fifth—are right down the street from the landmark that houses Tiffany & Co., the American jeweler that LVMH bought for $15.8 billion in 2021. Bergdorf executives were understandably on edge: Not just because of LVMH’s importance to the store, but also due to the group’s imperial power over the industry, itself.