Castorama and Leroy Merlin want to force through Sunday openings | RetailDetail

Castorama and Leroy Merlin want to force through Sunday openings

Castorama and Leroy Merlin want to force through Sunday openings

Sunday openings have been the talk of the town in France ever since do-it-yourself chains Castorama and Leroy Merlin opened 14 stores on Ile-de-France last Sunday, despite a judicial restraining order. The “revolt” caused such a stir that the government was forced to appoint a “wise man” to defuse the minefield.

“Why can they and can’t we?”

Despite a commercial court judge prohibiting Sunday openings - with a 120,000 euro penalty per store per day - 14 stores from Castorama and Leroy Merlin opened their doors anyway last Sunday. The ban was the result of a court case started by competitor Bricorama in the summer.

 

Bricorama did not accept both competitors being allowed to open on Sunday, when it could not do the same thing after labour union Force Ouvrière had successfully sued the company for not adhering to the law designating Sunday as a day of rest. The trial resulted in Bricorama having to close on Sunday.

 

The fight between the three competitors is just the tip of the iceberg, as these three do-it-yourself chains all fight the same fight. Their sector does not agree with the fact that the garden and furniture chains are allowed to open on Sunday in France, while they cannot.

 

Difficult task for government

Things get even more complicated seeing how some do-it-yourself stores are allowed to open up on Sunday, while others are not. The entire situation comes from an unclear and barely definitive piece of legislation, leaving room for interpretation.

 

That meant that the Ayrault government now has to move in, after denouncing Castorama’s and Leroy Merlin’s decision to ignore the court’s decision – "Until further notice, France is still a constitutional state". Nevertheless, the government has started to realize that the two chains may have a reason to complain - possibly as (afraid of losing their job and their Sunday bonus)  employees have sided with their employers.

 

Painful situation for Prime Minister Ayrault

Whatever the reasons may be, Paris has quickly appointed Jean-Paul Bailly, the former head of the French postal services, to examine the “shortcomings of the current piece of legislation and the influence of Sunday openings on certain sectors", start a dialogue between all parties (employers, employees, consumer organizations and others) and propose a solution to the government.

 

The appointment alone is a painful defeat for Prime Minister Ayrault. When he was mayor of Nantes, he had always refused to allow even the usual minimum of five Sunday openings per year. He was and still is convinced that “Sunday rest is essential, both for the protection of the workers and for the social cohesion” of the country.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Walmart and Microsoft team up to beat Amazon

18/07/2018

Two major American companies join forces to try to beat the omnipresent threat of Amazon: Walmart (Amazon's biggest competitor in retail) and Microsoft (Amazon's main rival in cloud services) have signed a strategic partnership for the next five years.

Sales of PCs grows for the first time in six years

13/07/2018

For the first time in six years computer sales showed growth again: in the second quarter of 2018 they increased by 1.4%. According to research firms Gartner and IDC, the sales increase is mainly due to growth in business markets.

Retailhub Inspiration Tour: the customer journey becomes very different

09/07/2018

Thanks to Retailhub by RetailDetail, Antwerp has one more unique retail hot spot. Professionals can experience the future of retail in the Benelux' only retail inspiration platform, with 1250 sqm of innovative technology and huge trends.

Breakthrough in Karstadt-Kaufhof merger

05/07/2018

Canadian Hudson’s Bay and Austrian Sigma Holding have not reached a preliminary agreement about the merger of their respective department store chains Kaufhof and Karstadt: the Canadian company says it has only signed a letter of intent.

Alibaba CEO and Belgian PM discuss investment in Liège

04/07/2018

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has discussed a possible investment in Liège, Belgium with the country's prime minister Charles Michel. Afterwards no decisive statements were made by either party.

Toys "R" Us closes American stores amidst reboot hopes

02/07/2018

Final curtains for Toys "R" Us in the United States: all the stores have closed and 30,000 employees are laid off. Against all odds, some however still hope for a second life for the troubled chain.