Carrefour Says France’s Store Opening Regulations are Incoherent

Carrefour SA, France’s largest retailer, said domestic restrictions on store opening hours are incoherent after a Paris court ordered one of its franchised shops shut after 1 p.m. Sunday and after 9 p.m. during the week.

Carrefour’s store in Paris’s Saint-Lazare railway station serves more than 2,600 clients on Sundays and 300 clients after 9 p.m. on weekdays, showing it responds to strong consumer demand, particularly from commuters, the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

The court’s decision “shows again the incoherency of the regulations,” said Carrefour, adding it supports its franchisee’s appeal of the ruling, which has led to the loss of nine jobs.

Carrefour joins Kingfisher Plc, owner of France’s biggest home-improvement chain Castorama, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA’s Sephora and other retailers in protesting the laws amid opposition from unions. A government-appointed committee is studying the rules and will report back by the end of November.

Stores in France can open Sunday on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, although not on other major boulevards which have the largest department stores. Furniture and gardening retailers can remain open, while do-it-yourself outlets can’t. Some food stores can be open all day, others just the morning. Family-owned neighborhood grocery stores aren’t affected by the restrictions.

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