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Paris Retail Suffers as Strikes Deter Tourists

Paris Retail Suffers as Strikes Deter Tourists

Paris shops' sales were down 30-50% or more in the December holiday period, when many earn a large share of their annual income, according to the French Federation of small retailers.

 

Although central Paris has felt the most pain, signs of the potential strain for the broader economy in France are starting to emerge as tourists opt for other destinations, consumers avoid shops and people struggle to get to work.

 

  • The union-led protests and strikes against President Emmanuel Macron's plan to overhaul the pensions system add to the misery many businesses suffered during months of "yellow vest" demonstrations against the high cost of living.

  • French consumer confidence fell more sharply than expected in December, hitting a five month low, data showed on Wednesday, in the first pointer on economic sentiment since the strikes began.

  • Even high-end department stores like Printemps were cautious, although its many Chinese tour group visitors were less likely to have cancelled travel plans as air traffic remained stable.

  • Unibail-Westfield-Rodamco , which owns Les Halles shopping centre and others in France, said the strike impact varied a lot from one mall to the other, with only "a very limited number" affected.

  • Tourists cancellations in Paris have caused hotels, cafes and restaurants estimated losses of 740 million euros (628.24 million pounds), said the GNI-HCR industry association that represents them.
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