“Yellow vests”: many stores closed in Paris on Saturday

VIDEOS – On the eve of Act IV of the “yellow vests” movement in Paris, Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, BHV and Bon Marché have confirmed the closure of their stores for the whole day. Many other businesses – including banks – will be closed or barricaded, and security reinforced, especially on the Champs-Élysées.

Everywhere in France, calls for “yellow vests” to go to Paris this Saturday to demonstrate are increasing. The Élysée fears for this fourth act of mobilization that “” will break out in the capital. On the Champs-Élysées, the majority of stores should not be open a priori. The LVMH group has warned that all its Parisian stores will be closed. Less than three weeks before Christmas, the Kering group, owner of Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Boucheron, will also close all of its Parisian stores. “For the safety of our employees and our customers, we have planned to close all our Parisian stores,” said a spokesperson for the luxury group. Several chains of clothing stores will also be closed.

Since yesterday, the Paris police headquarters called on traders in the sector, via a notice sheet, to “close (their) doors” and “make their staff aware of the risks involved”. This Friday, the Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, BHV and Bon Marché announced that they would be closed “as a precaution” for the whole day of the demonstration in the neighborhoods near the Champs-Élysées and the Opera, but also in Montparnasse or even in Nation. Last weekend, department stores had to evacuate their customers around 5 p.m. because of the proximity of the violence scenes.

Monoprix stores protect their windows. Claudia Cohen / Le Figaro

In the 8th and 9th arrondissements of the capital, particularly affected last Saturday, some traders remain mixed on the issue. Some stores plan to remain open, since “the demonstration should take place on the side of the Bastille”, explain the most optimistic traders. The latter say they rely on the police in the event of overflows. This Friday, following a meeting with the Paris police headquarters which explained to representatives of economic circles the system put in place for tomorrow, the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry advised to its nationals “to close their establishments within and near the perimeter of protection as well as to protect their property by putting in place protections for windows and facades”.

– Watch on Figaro Live

Notice sheet from the police headquarters. Claudia Cohen / Le Figaro

Several businesses, such as the Alain Afflelou store on Boulevard Haussmann, have requested quotes “to know how much it will cost to barricade the windows”. As of Thursday morning, the neighborhood traders received a visit from the police, in particular giving them a notice sheet from the police headquarters. If the associated costs have dissuaded many merchants from strengthening their security arrangements, others are willing to pay to preserve their windows. Thus, with the exception of certain points of sale located in risky places, most of the Monoprix stores in the capital will remain open this weekend. As of Thursday, the brand installed imposing barricades on the windows of its stores. The Carrefour group specifies that the employees who should have worked this Saturday will still be paid. In addition, the majority of traders interviewed by the Figaro were waiting for this Friday to make their decision, hoping to receive more precise instructions from the police headquarters.

“We didn’t have any damage, but we were very scared. We were locked inside for hours. This Saturday we will close so as not to relive these scenes of violence, ”explains the manager of an optical store on Boulevard Haussman. The store windows will also be barricaded. Chanel luxury boutiques, one of whose stores was looted during the last demonstration, will be closed throughout the capital.

Many banks will be closed

Last week, more than 80 bank branches across France were vandalized, many of them located in the capital. Across the country, “yellow vests” attacked banks, sometimes putting up hostile posters and smearing distributors with paint. Several thugs had notably entered inside the agencies, to steal computers and other material goods. In Paris, banks are preparing for another Black Saturday. Tomorrow, all the branches of several banks including Crédit Mutuel-CIC, Crédit Agricole Ile-de-France, HSBC and BNP Paribas will be officially closed. However, the cash machines located outside the agencies should a priori remain usable.

BNP Boulevard Haussman is recovering from the incidents of last weekend. Claudia Cohen / Le Figaro

Call to assemble place de la Bastille

Many rallying messages on social networks meet with the “yellow vests” on the Place de la Bastille this Saturday for the “Macron departure party”. In the neighborhood, traders are also preparing for scenes of violence similar to those of last weekend. If the majority of traders should close shop, they nevertheless remain very worried about the state in which they will find their stores on Monday morning. “We have no control over the event and very little information”, confides the spokesperson for the Association of merchants of the Quartier Beaumarchais to the Figaro. “No one has come to talk to us about the situation yet,” he explains. “We wait for the information before making any decisions.” However, for those who will close, support cells will be set up in order to “ensure that traders will not be too penalized financially”, it is claimed at Medef Paris. Measures which should concern the majority of traders in the sector because “it would not be reasonable to remain open”, admits the manager of the French Café located on the Place de la Bastille.


SEE ALSO – “Yellow vests”: a pre-insurgency situation?

– Watch on Figaro Live

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