Venice's Fondaco dei Tedeschi reopens

Manager DFS opens first sales point in Europe

(ANSA) - Venice, September 29 - The Fondaco dei Tedeschi, located at the foot of Venice's Rialto bridge, reopens to the public on Saturday as a luxury retail centre with space for culture as well.
    The restored palazzo which many Venetians know as the Post Office building has come under new management by luxury goods retailer DFS, a subsidiary of the colossus LVMH Group, while still belonging to Benetton. The new luxury retail centre will be formally inaugurated on Friday evening at an invitation-only event and open to the public on Saturday.
    "I am happy to have led this project, which restores a building constructed for this very purpose to its origins," said DFS Italia deputy chairman Roberto Meneghesso. "Our company was looking for a market in the heart of old Europe and we jumped on the chance to open in the most beautiful country on the continent and in the most beautiful city in Italy," he added.
    Customers can find bags, shoes, accessories and other luxury fashion items of various brand labels spread out over four floors, while on the top floor there is a space dedicated to culture and art. It will also be possible to take a guided tour of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. DFS has spent "several dozen million" euros in long-term investment on its first sales point in Europe.
    The retail centre is expected to have a turnover of 100 million euros and approximately 2 million visitors a year. Over 400 people have been trained especially to work in the structure.
    Of these, half are in their first job, 80% have been given a permanent contract and over 70% are women.