how businesses will adapt

The obligation for customers to be at home at 8 p.m. forces stores to close their doors earlier. Some will advance their opening.

Everyone at home. By 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 15, all customers of stores and supermarkets will have to be home. The businesses are preparing for this new constraint, which will inevitably eat into part of their sales.

Most shopping malls and supermarkets are open at least until 9 p.m. at this time of year. “The impact will be less important for local shops because customers take less time to return home after shopping, notes Jacques Creyssel, the general delegate of the Federation of commerce and distribution. But there will not be many people from 7 p.m. in most points of sale. These are very important hours at this time of year. But it’s a lesser evil because the curfew almost fell at 7 p.m.».

Up to 10% of sales, depending on the brands, are concluded from 7 p.m., estimates the Alliance du commerce, which represents major clothing brands as well as department stores. In this sector, on average a third of stores are open after 8 p.m. in December, especially those located in city centers of metropolitan areas and in shopping centers.

Deliveries until 11 p.m.

It will therefore be necessary to adapt again. Some stores will open an hour or two earlier, with the expectation that customers will come to shop in the morning before work, rather than in the evening. This will especially be the case for food stores, “especially delicatessens, for which the period is crucial», Explains Emmanuel Le Roch, from the Federation of Specialized Trade (Procos).

Supermarkets, especially, will be more early morning. Carrefour will raise the curtain on its hypermarkets at 8 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m. during the Christmas period, and even 7:30 a.m. in some places. The stores of the Casino group (Monoprix, Franprix, Géant, Casino, etc.), which are largely open in the evening after 8 p.m. in automatic mode, will also compensate in the morning. “A store that closed at 10 p.m. will open two hours earlier, at 7 or 8 a.m. instead of 9 or 10 a.m.», Explains the group.

To compensate for the shortfall in stores, distributors also rely on the delivery of shopping at home, which a growing number of French people have taken a liking to since the first confinement. Carrefour as Casino will deliver later than usual from tomorrow, until 11 p.m. at Carrefour (in some regions).

The great unknown will still be the behavior of the French. “Are customers going to change their habits? Leaving work early in the evening, or going shopping between noon and two? Will some find it too complicated and decide to buy online?“, Asks Yohann Petiot, the General Delegate of the Alliance du Commerce. The businesses hope that the possibility which is left to them almost everywhere to open on Sundays in December will make up some of the shortfall.

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