France and the mirage of progess

I just arrived in Paris from Buenos Aires for LeWeb3 conference organized by Loic Lemeur. I was horrified to see all the stores open on a Sunday! Had France given in to consumerism? Did the French government decide to trust shop owners and consumers to decide for themselves when to shop? Did the bureaucrats who set store opening hours not realize that preventing stores from being open on evenings and week-ends was actually the best defense against rampant capitalist consumerism?

I was relieved to learn that this was just an exception and stores were only open during the first few Sundays of December. Apparently many consumers had complained about not being able to shop when they were not at the office because all the stores were closed. Didn’t they realize the state always knew better what was in their self interest?

Anyway, the moment of terror had passed – arch-conservatism was safe in France after all!

  • Dear Fabrice,

    I wish you’d spend more time in France to avoid such insulting comments. Don’t play the childish easy going game with France. We all know that in the USA, armory shops are open 24/7 to allow for anyone to buy an automatic rifle and blow away an entire high school in minutes!




  • Good to see it was only a temporary exception, otherwise cars parked in the streets might have been in danger.. 😀

  • Lol … you should have seen the faces of our German senior executives when we drove down the main Shanghai shopping streets at 9pm on a Sunday night, and the stores were still open for business 🙂


  • Paris is an important touristical city and many stores are openend on sunday even outside christmas period.
    I do not know whenever burocrats or employees agree or disagree but as a Parisian I confirm it is very convenient…

  • Dear Marc,

    What a stupid comparison and what a chauvinistic anger! Your country is paralysed by bureaucracy and it is only a few years that arms are only for sale with a license. The Dutch had a big problem with all the illegal arms that were bought and brought in from France. Don’t take yourself to serious my friend!

  • Vraiment je ne vois pas le problème. Les gens ne font pas plus les magasins. Au lieu de faire les magasins le samedi avec la foule, on les fait le dimanche et il y a moins de monde. Et qu’est-ce qui empêche de consommer 24h/24 sur internet ?

  • There are (almost) never real steps ahead taken to push and change mentalities and business practices.
    Even though some efforts are made (retirements plans, strikes “limitations” to less than an hour, …) we (i am french) either should make a strong effort today or will have to undertake an impossible Herucles task in 15 years to “survive”.

    By the way, I recommend this fantastic report done by the National Intelligence Council (study and survey branch of the CIA):
    It’s a study made for about 18 months including personnalities from around the world in business, education, religion, … that tries to foresee the core changes and trends to come. There are many chapters about Europe.

  • j’ai pas tout compris .
    En quoi est-ce mal de pouvoir faire ses courses un dimanche ?
    en dehors du coté religieux estompé ( jour réservé )
    et du coté acquis social qui saute ( jour de congé ),
    de quoi est-il question ?

    what are we talking about ? out of pushing away day off , what do you see as evil?
    Could you explain your thought,please ?