Why Paris’ Printemps Department Store Is Allowed to Reopen Before Other Large Retailers

As of tomorrow, famed Parisian department store Printemps can reopen its landmark Boulevard Haussmann location.

Although the French government previously ruled that stores of 43,000 square feet or over must remain closed until July 10, the store had contested the ruling. Yesterday, the Paris Administrative Court ruled in favor of Printemps, which had originally been subjected to the order.

So what were the grounds? According to group lawyer Vincent Brenot, the court took the view that the store is made up of separate sections, set over various connected buildings (men’s, women’s and beauty). All have separate entrances — and exits can be completely separated by the closure of their connecting footbridges.

The court also took into account Printemps’ argument that the store has a smaller clientele than usual because international shoppers aren’t visiting Paris.

In expectation of the decision, the store has already implemented all of health protocols necessary for opening. As with other retailers — large and small — masks are mandatory and hydroalcoholic gel will be available at entry points. Traffic flow and social distancing measures have also been put in place.

“We are delighted with this perfectly justified decision, which will allow us to resume our activity. We have set up a sanitary system so that we can once again offer our customers a unique shopping experience with complete peace of mind,” said Printemps managing director Pierre Pelarrey. He noted that 3,000 jobs are connected the store’s ability to reopen.

Galeries Lafayette, which also has its flagship on Haussmann, said it filed an application with the hopes of opening its doors on June 2. Its smaller Champs-Élysées store already opened May 11 when the main lockdown restrictions were lifted.

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