Monday, May 2, 2011

Big Box

Americans tend to imagine France as that fairy tale place where people still do their shopping at the butcher, the baker, and the greengrocer.  And while in Paris, you can still do that if you choose, increasingly in places where there is room to build (both for the retail space itself and for parking), the big box store has become king.  (Actually French chain Carrefour started the big box phenomenon even before Walmart and now ranks no. 2 worldwide in profits behind the U.S. retail giant.)  And the American penchant for valuing low prices and quantity above quality seems to have taken hold as well.  The slogan for this store (which I photographed in Rochefort during our recent family biking vacation) is "the more I buy, the cheaper it is."  My younger child independently pointed out to me the fallacy of this statement.  My work as a parent is done.


Brenna [fabuleuxdestin] said...

hehe. What a smarty you have on your hands! When I moved to my little town, I was so disappointed that the market is only one day a week, on a weekday. I was even more diappointed to find that no one shops there! Because my town is poorer, they have taken on American habits, such as buying only processed foods at huge supermarkets! Definitely eye-opening and changed my vision of France.

TN said...

We live in Paris and it is impossible to shop at these types of stores without a car or elevator. Therefore we do the butcher, fruit/veggie stands, baker etc...I do however also shop online with (aka Carrefour) but just for everyday stuff (butter, yogurt, milk, water etc...). They deliver for free (most of the time since our order is over 150 euros normally) and carry it up to the second floor ;-)

But oh how I do miss Super Targets where you can find EVERYTHING ;-)

Mary Kay said...

I'll take the butcher, the baker, and the greengrocer over the box stores, particularly in France. I've been postponing a much needed trip to Ikea because I can't bear the thoughts of mingling with the angry mob. Shopping there always seems to put people in a rotten mood, whereas people are generally in a better mood at the smaller stores, particularly when they're buying a treat at the bakery!

Lost In Cheeseland said...

I think in a few years time, France will be a clone of the U.S. which means I'll have to find another place to live! As much as the French generally dislike American imports-be they actual shops or concepts, they eat it right up.
Smart cookie you got ony our hands, future economist?

Starman said...

For the past several years, people have been informing me of the huge shopping centers located on the outskirts of most of the larger cities in France.

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