“It’s very, very quiet.” This is the verdict of Aurélie *, manager and saleswoman of a store in the Claudie Pierlot chain, in the rue du Commerce, a shopping street popular with the inhabitants of the 15th arrondissement of Paris, and those who work in the surrounding offices.
The strikes “undermine morale”
The windows of this small neighborhood street do not display wooden planks, like some more frequented artery stores in central Paris regularly surveyed by demonstrators. The street, with its sparkling Christmas decorations and pine trees on the sidewalk, seems ready for the holidays. Only the customers are not there. Demonstrations at the call of the SNCF and RATP unions, among others, against the government’s pension reform weigh on year-end spending. “We are not able to reach our sales objectives”, confides Aurélie. “This Saturday was fine, but it was not what we are used to during Christmas time.” At her place, even the regulars are rare: “We have regular neighborhood customers: most of them are mothers. They don’t come anymore. The same goes for the customers who work next door, and who came for lunch. To believe that the strikes put down the morale of everyone. ”
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One year after the blow to businesses by the demonstrations of yellow vests, traders are again worried about the consequences that strikes and demonstrations could have on their turnover. Even for local shops, a priori less exposed to the negative consequences of demonstrations than those in areas heavily dependent on transport, the finding is negative. “There are neighborhood customers, but we already know this one,” explains Aurélie. “We lose the passing customer, who was shopping in the street and enters on a whim.”