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Bill to Loosen Night Hours for French Retailers Scrapped

The measure would have allowed certain stores to remain open later.

PARIS — A bill meant to allow retailers to stay open later in France was voted down in the country’s National Assembly here Thursday.

Proposed by the UMP party, the bill sought authorization for stores staying open later at night in zones with exceptionally heavy tourist traffic or permanent cultural activity. It also called for additional compensation for employees working at night.

Store closing times have been an incendiary topic of late. As reported, a French court in September decided that Sephora’s flagship on Paris’ Champs-Élysées must close at 9 p.m., to the ire of its employees. Since 1996, the store had remained open until midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on the weekend.

Meanwhile, Marionnaud’s recently renovated flagship, also on the Champs-Élysées just a few doors away from Sephora, remains open until midnight seven days a week.

The subject of Sunday trading has also been making news again. On Monday, France’s Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the law regarding Sunday work would be clarified next year.

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