Shoppers lined up in huge lines in front of stores Friday, March 19, to make time to shop before the lockdown.
The rise in COVID-19 illnesses is leading to the re-introduction of lockdowns around the world. France is no exception; on Thursday, March 18, the country's authorities announced the third lockdown. Strict restrictions were imposed in Paris and its suburbs, as well as in 15 other departments.
As in previous quarantine periods, a full closure is subject to all retailers who sell goods that are not essential commodities. The lockdown is imposed for one month until April 15, when the terms may be revised later.
For retailers, the third shutdown since March 2020, which many in commerce consider arbitrary and unjustified, is another heavy blow. Like the entire French economy, the retail sector is being severely tested, and many stores no longer expect to reopen after the lockdown.
An essential factor negatively affecting French retailing was the lack of tourists from other countries during the year. Traditionally, tourists from China, Russia, and the U.S. provide sales in luxury retail, but in 2020 French luxury houses were forced to rely solely on local tourism.
For shoppers, the news announced at the press conference also came as a surprise, as already on Friday, March 19, huge lines lined up in front of many stores, including fashion retailers and leading street perfume stores like Zara, Uniqlo, and Sephora. Shoppers had hoped to enjoy their last hours of shopping before staying home again.
Photo credit: depositphotos.com.