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Last Updated: Friday, 7 November, 2003, 06:03 GMT
Paris store offers stripping tips
Stripper (scene from BBC drama)
The lessons are for women only, the store stresses
One of France's best-loved department stores has outraged feminists by offering striptease lessons to female customers this weekend in Paris.

Galeries Lafayette has announced it is to offer lessons with professional strippers showing customers how to reveal all in the most alluring way.

A French feminist group has threatened to demonstrate outside the shop.

What used to be a rather staid department store now seems determined to cultivate a new, raunchier image.

A professional demonstration lets you discover the gestures it takes to unveil your pretty underwear
Galeries Lafayette advert

First came singles nights in its gourmet food hall, the BBC's Caroline Wyatt reports, and now an initiative which French feminists claim is distinctly below the belt.

The shop is opening what it says is the world's largest lingerie department and, to celebrate, it plans to offer female customers striptease lessons this Saturday.

Women will be shown how to make the most of their new purchases by two professional striptease artists.

Their hints include wearing high heels and avoiding unsightly knee-high stockings, plus instructions on how not to get your skirt tangled up in those heels.

One feminist group says the idea is demeaning to women.

The shop's customers however, have mixed feelings.

Some say that, even here, in the world capital of seduction, a few lessons would not go amiss.

But others complain that a shop they could once happily browse in with their grandmother is fast moving towards the bottom end of the market.

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