Storekeepers have been allowed to open on Sundays since December 2020 in order to offset the long weeks of closure during the past lockdowns. In 2021, this system is to be pursued with prefectoral decree. But, this Thursday January 14, 2021, Jean Castex announced France will be placed back into curfew from 6 p.m. for at least two weeks.
This is a hard blow for storekeepers who no longer can welcome customers working full time during the week, and especially during the winter sale period.
To counterbalance the effect of this decision, the government allowed stores to open on Sundays in order to avoid too big of gatherings during weekends: "exemptions to open stores on Sundays have been granted by come local collectivities following meetings of Prefect. Once again, I urge storekeepers to seek them" the Prime Minister said during the conference.
Yet, as for storekeepers, the news did not meet such success. "The government tells us to comply with processes. For now, it takes five weeks of consultations to open on Sundays. It cannot be. Over this exceptional period of time, when it's necessary to open, and it's not always so, we need to be able to do it easily, and this is not the case" Federation of business and distribution company director general Jacques Creyssel tells BFM Business.
He adds that if the government does not make processes easier very soon, all stores - big or small - will suffer. "Grocery shopping past 5 p.m. represent around 30% of the income" Creyssel adds. Some of this income will be lost by storekeepers asking for total liberalization of store opening on Sundays.