2020 was definitely not lucky. The coronavirus epidemic and the restrictions it led to has disturbed the economy. In France, for non-necessary stores, the two nationwide lockdowns led to difficulties some cannot overcome. As the shadow of a third lockdown lurks because of the third Covid-19 wave to come, the French Trade Council (CDCF) describes a rather dark painting of storekeepers’ current situation.
Interviewed by France Info, CDCF chairman William Koeberlé says that “20 to 30% of storekeepers will struggle reopening and continue working”. They are likely to permanently close despite aid granted. It mostly applies to the clothing sector, highly impacted by the health crisis.
During the second lockdown, these stores had been allowed to open earlier than expected. The period between November and December usually enables them to make 50% of their turnover, and it is then decisive. But even though this reopening enables to more or less compensate the loss, it was not enough to get them back onto their feet: “Now, we have to pay all the December bills. There is always a delay” William Koeberlé adds.
To fix this situation, the French Trade Council has published on Monday December 28, 2020 a released asking the State to allow storekeepers to open on Sundays in January.
Curfew: to open on Sundays, storekeepers call for an easier process
This Thursday January 14, Jean Castex announced curfew from 6 p.m. will have all storekeepers in France to close earlier, for at least two weeks. To overcome lost working hours, the government allows storekeepers to open on Sundays. But they call for an easier process.