Sunset over river bridge - Avignon, France

France allows more stores to open on Sundays

Certain ‘international tourist zones’, such as shops in train stations, will be given permission to increase their opening hours if the reformed law is passed by those in the upper house, which has already been given the green light by local mayors. This includes allowing shops to open until midnight during the week, in a hope to boost the flagging economy and provide more jobs for the citizens of France.

Extending the opening hours for France’s major cities

Currently, the majority of shops in France are required to remain shut on the seventh day of the week by law, which has been a tradition for over 100 years. The Galeries Lafayette store in Paris is one of the establishments hoping to obtain extending opening hours, and is a popular attraction with many tourists, including those on deluxe European river cruises.

However, retailers will still only be allowed to open twelve Sundays a year, which is extending the existing law that allows large shops to open for five. This will help France compete with leading shopping locations across the world, such as London and New York, which are able to open every Sunday and later in the evenings throughout the year.

The move has created much controversy in France, as many nationals believe that Sunday is a day for spending sacred time with the family. As a counter argument, the Independent quoted the Socialist economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, who stated that it is important for France ‘to enter the modern world’. It is thought that if the law is passed by the Senate today, which is almost certain, it will be reviewed again in April.

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