Stores have been forbidden by the French legislature from having more than 2 sales a year. The sales must not last more than six weeks.
The news is bad but it is even worse when you learn that the only reason French stores have had “floating sales” in the last few years is because the French government gave them permission to do so in 2008. Imagine living in a country that is so hyper-regulated.
According to this French (though written in English) news site: “France tells shops: No more wildcard sales.”
The new law reverses a 2008 decision allowing retailers two weeks of so-called “floating sales” to be held whenever shops saw fit.
Now the winter and summer sales will once again become the only times retailers are allowed to operate at a loss as they clear the decks and make room for new stock.
The two extra weeks of off-piste sales activity were brought in by Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right government in an attempt to get French people to part with their euros and boost consumption.
But a 2012 report from the Crédoc research centre and the French Institute of Fashion said the reform benefitted big retailers and brands at the expense of small stores, which could not compete with the marketing budgets of the major chains, mainly in the clothing sector.
But how these sales benefit or hurt competing businesses is immaterial. It benefits the French consumer for stores to hold sales.
This is an example of government policy forcing businesses to charge higher prices in the hope that it will stimulate the economy. It is an extremely stupid thing to do. Now, rather than consumers finding bargains, produce will have to go directly into landfills.
There are big retailers and there are small businesses. Why should those two different kinds of establishments be legislated with the purpose of making them “equal” in the economy? Common sense tells us that there would be relative advantages and disadvantages to both kinds of stores.
The country that gave us terms like “entrepreneur” and “laissez-faire” has fallen far!