PARIS — As French shopkeepers shift efforts from boarding up windows to spurring last-minute consumption, Galeries Lafayette Group Friday said it has joined other French firms offering end-of-the-year bonuses to employees.
“The unprecedented events that affected France over the past weeks have had a very significant economic impact on the French stores of the Galeries Lafayette group, at a time of year that accounts for a major part of sales activity,” said the department store owner in a statement.
Printemps also said it was affected by the disruption that occurred on three successive Saturdays. Pierre Pelarrey, director of the department chain’s Boulevard Haussmann flagship, noted that between the weekend events, however, sales were good, matching trends seen in November.
“Now that it’s finished, I would say there’s a catch-up effect — but a relative one, we have to be prudent — but I think that consumers, clients are now making their Christmas purchases and the numbers are especially good,” he said. Warm clothing and gourmet food packs are selling well, he noted.
Still, likely not all of the month’s lost business would be recuperated, predicted Pelarrey, noting the importance of December trading. The executive said he hoped the store would recover at least 20 percent of 30 percent of sales lost from the disruptions.
Galeries Lafayette said it supported measures announced by French President Emmanuel Macron to improve spending power and will hand a 300 euro bonus to 8,000 employees in France before Christmas.
Demonstrations from the yellow vest movement are expected this weekend to be sporadic and dispersed throughout the country, in the so-called “Act VI” of the movement that has taken place on Saturdays in recent weeks.
Monuments and shops will remain open over the weekend across Paris, although officials have said they are not sure where protests will crop up next.
With talk that organizers might regroup in the outskirts of the French capital, the Chateau de Versailles will be closed Saturday, along with stretches of road from the city heading toward Paris.