- Title: Christmas sparkle in Paris' shopping quarter dimmed by strikes
- Date: 20th December 2019
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (DECEMBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DECORATIVE BEES AND FLOWERS IN GALERIES LAFAYETTE DEPARTMENT STORE'S CHRISTMAS WINDOW DISPLAY LIGHTS ON SIDEWALK AND ON TREES ON HAUSSMANN BOULEVARD, WHERE GALERIES LAFAYETTE IS LOCATED VARIOUS OF LIGHTS ON TREES LIGHTS ON SIDEWALK WHERE GALERIES LAFAYETTE IS LOCATED VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING PARIS, FRANCE (DECEMBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WITH GALERIES LAFAYETTE SHOPPING BAGS PEOPLE WALKING ON SHOPPING STREET BIG BOW OUTSIDE SEPHORA GALERIES LAFAYETTE BAGS (SOUNDBITE) (French) 65-YEAR-OLD, CLAUDE LEPESANT, SAYING: "There were only a few trains but we were able to adjust to the schedule. There aren't a lot of people in the train, there aren't a lot of people on the street nor inside the department stores, so it's not too bad, for us at least." (SOUNDBITE) (French) 70-YEAR-OLD, ANNICK BOZIER, SAYING: "I usually go earlier (for Christmas shopping) but with these events (strike, protests)- we haven't been able to move around the past 15 days so, voila, I'm doing it last minute." (SOUNDBITE) (French)35-YEAR-OLD FROM SWITZERLAND, NICOLAS BELIAEFF, SAYING "We are doing some Christmas shopping, and it's a little complicated, as you know some transport options are not available, more or less. So we're trying to make do, as we can. But shops are open, people are smiling soâ€¦ everything is ok." PEOPLE WALKING ON STREET DOME OF PRINTEMPS DEPARTMENT STORE PEOPLE CROSSING STREET ASTRA HOTEL WITH CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS PRESIDENT OF ASTOTEL NETWORK OF HOTELS, SERGE CACHAN, TALKING TO HIS STAFF DATE AND TIME IN FRANCE AND DIFFERENT TIME ZONES CACHAN TALKING CHART SHOWING LOSS IN RESERVATIONS IN ASTOTEL NETWORK HOTELS (SOUNDBITE) (French) PRESIDENT OF ASTOTEL NETWORK OF HOTELS, SERGE CACHAN, SAYING: "Astra Hotel is impacted by the strike and by the protests in two ways - first by cancellations, people don't come to a city with such troubles; and secondly, by a reluctance, if not to say, an absence of reservations. The combination of the two - cancellations and non-reservations - translates into a loss of activity of around 30 percent of revenues." HOTEL PERSONNEL WALKING ON HOTEL CORRIDOR AND ENTERING ROOM PERSONNEL FIXING BEDS (SOUNDBITE) (French) PRESIDENT OF ASTOTEL NETWORK OF HOTELS, SERGE CACHAN, SAYING: "It is obvious that if you are in traffic for hours and hours, for two, three hours or at time, more - it's extremely discouraging. And in a quarter like this, right beside the big department stores with the beautiful shop windows, where we usually go with the children going a little bit crazy this holiday season, it's very sad that the strikes - which are respectable, which are inscribed in our democracy, but at times in excess- translate to consequences of this nature." SIGN AT RECEPTION ADVISING GUESTS OF TRANSPORT DISRUPTIONS DUE TO STRIKE VARIOUS OF RECEPTION STAFF BALL ON CHRISTMAS TREE
- Embargoed: 3rd January 2020 16:23
- Keywords: Christmas lights Christmas shopping holidays pension reform strike
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Lawmaking,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAS70W7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Christmas lights are sparkling in Paris's famed shopping quarter, but the cash registers are not ringing loud.
A general strike, which dragged on for a 16th day on Friday (December 20) has taken a toll on hotels, restaurants and stores in the Paris region, with their holiday clientele dissuaded by transport disruption.
For some shoppers, it made for a more peaceful if not less festive shopping trip. For others, it meant postponing the shopping until train schedules permitted.
"We haven't been able to move around the past 15 days so, voila, I'm doing it last minute," 70-year-old Annick Bozier said.
Since the start of the strike on Dec. 5, revenue loss in Paris stands at some 30% year-on-year for hotels, 40% pct for cafes and bars and 50% for restaurants, a spokesman for the GNI independent hotels and restaurants federation said.
Astra Hotel in the Opera district, about a block away from the iconic Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores, has seen a fall of 19 percent in reservations since the start of the month.
Serge Cachan, president of the Astotel chain which includes Astra Hotel, said average cancellations were as high 30 percent across his own network of hotels. And most of cancelled bookings were from French travelers from provincial regions and from tourists in neighbouring countries like Belgium, the U.K. and Italy who were worried that their train schedules would be affected by the strikes. Bookings from the U.S., China and South America, however, remained stable.
"It's very sad that the strikes - which are respectable, which are inscribed in our democracy, but at times in excess - translate to consequences of this nature," he said.
Cachan said the losses were worse compared to last year, when 'yellow vest' protests rocked Paris and saw violent episodes wherein hooligans smashed store windows. While the 'yellow vest' protests took place only on Saturdays, the transport strike has been on everyday since December 5th.
A spokeswoman for the Paris region Chamber of Commerce said footfall was down around 30% in inner city stores and down 6% in malls outside cities. Data for the rest of the country were not immediately available.
(Production: Michaela Cabrera, Noemie Olive, Emilie Delwarde, Martin Esposito)
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