France’s inconsistent rules regarding retail store operating hours

An article in the Financial Times titled “France retailers battle restrictive opening hours (November 4,2013) describes rules that permit garden centers, furniture and food stores to be open until 1 pm on Sundays but does not permit do-it-yourself and department stores similar options without special approval. Sephora, a cosmetics retailer, has to shut their Champs Elysees store by 9 pm, while the Monoprix, a food and fashion store, can be open until midnight on weekdays. Sephora claims to sell 20% of its volume between 9 pm and midnight, but some union leaders claim that the option to purchase perfumes late at night is not a social necessity. Should rules across products be required to be consistent to enable more effective competition ? Should the focus of these decisions be consumer preferences or the welfare of union employees or overall economic benefit ? Will such inconsistent operating hours benefit or hurt the consumer ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
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