France reluctantly revisits Sunday store opening

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Associated Press

Posted on December 2, 2013 at 3:03 AM

PARIS (AP) — France is taking another look at whether to increase the number of stores permitted to open on Sundays, but the prime minister says it will remain an exception.

The current law is a myriad of rules with few fans: Sunday work is rare, allowed for certain stores five days annually, as well as in a few designated commercial zones. The measure was challenged by home improvement chains. French unemployment has been stuck above 10 percent since March 2012, and many argue that expanding weekend hours could help.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Monday that the law would clarified, reviewing recommendations in a government-commissioned report. Among them: increase the allowance for stores to 12 Sundays a year and review how commercial zones are chosen. He said Sundays remains a cherished break.

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