Aïshti and four brand stores
will reopen together in December
Being totally restored
Zaha Hadid move delayed
Aïshti will reopen its landmark department store together with at least four high street flagship stores on December 7, which coincides with its birthdate.
Dior, Valentino, Burberry, and Fendi are confirmed to be ready on the reopening date. Other stores may also join at that date or shortly after.
The department store was slated to move to the ‘Zaha Hadid’ architected building in the same neighborhood. The plan to move has been put on hold following a fire that had erupted a few weeks ago when the building was in finishing stage. “We are awaiting refurbishing as well as insurance processes. We want to reopen as soon as possible and it will take much longer if we have to wait for the move to become possible,” said Tony Salameh, Chairman of the group.
All of Aïshti’s Downtown stores were blown away during the Port Explosion. “Everything was gone, even the floor tiles” said Salameh. “We are redoing everything, including the décor, internal structure, and obviously the new collection,” he said.
Salameh said he is delighted that major brands have acquiesced to reopen in their original locations in the Downtown area. “That speaks volumes to the confidence that remains – in spite of all that had happened,” he said.
Financing the return is not easy. “We have to rely on our internal resources for immediate needs,” said Salameh. “We have to wait for insurance claims to be redeemed. The banks are not currently in a lending mood. We are doing what we can,” he said.
Salameh is not worried about demand. “We have always counted on local sophisticated customers. When we reopen many customers from the Arab world and abroad will come back,” he said.
Aishti’s other locations at the ‘Seaside’ Jal El Dib location and ABC Verdun and Ashrafieh are operating normally.
Date Posted: Oct 08, 2020