Shop hours in France

When I was a child, trading hours were relatively limited in New Zealand. Sunday trading came in controversially, and many shops used to be closed on Saturdays and Sundays. But things changed and now I’m used to most shops being open most days. Coming to France is like stepping back in time, in terms of trading hours.

When I was a child, trading hours were relatively limited in New Zealand. Sunday trading came in controversially, and many shops used to be closed on Saturdays and Sundays. But things changed and now I’m used to most shops being open most days. Coming to France is like stepping back in time, in terms of trading hours.
On Sunday Ollie and Tom wanted to go to the swimming pool with Kynan and Isla in Chevreuse. Ali explained that the style of togs our boys had brought, board shorts, would not be acceptable at the pool. They would need briefs – high on the hip. The pool attendants would enforce that rule strictly. So we needed to buy new togs. No problem, right?
Jennie and I walked along to the pool to see what togs they sell there. There was a queue outside waiting for the pool to open after being closed for a 2-hour lunch break. When it opened, we enquired about buying togs and found out that they did sell togs, but not in the sizes our boys would need.
Lionel suggested he and I could stop at a sports shop after picking up the lease car from Orly airport. Driving the car for the first time, I nervously followed him from Orly back to Chevreuse and on the way we made a detour into a huge shopping centre. It was closed – all day! Lionel could not think of any shops in Paris that would definitely be open to sell togs on a Sunday. We abandoned the idea of going to the pool.
We are now in St Martin le Beau, which is a small town. It has a boulangerie, where we buy bread and pastries. At least when it’s open we do. Like most shops in France, it is closed on Sundays – no surprises there. It is also closed for a 2-hour lunch break every day. Again, no surprise. It is also closed on Mondays. Thursday this week happens to be a public holiday, so we figured it would probably be closed then too. We asked Ollie to confirm that when he went there for supplies this morning (Wednesday). He came back and reported it is closed today. We are not sure why. We speculated that the reason might be that (a) it’s a Wednesday, (b) it’s the day before a public holiday, or (c) it’s the last day of the month.
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2 thoughts on “Shop hours in France

  1. Grandpa

    Frustrating but definitely France. For Kiwis it’s certainly like going back in time shopping-wise. Togs problem at the pool? That one’s hard to take. Brings back the time when Hilary and I weren’t allowed to leave our overcoats on in the Vienna Opera House. After some fruitless “discussion”, and fearing the clothes police were about to be called, we reluctantly agreed to deposit them (for a fee) in the cloakroom. When in Rome … they reminded us!

    Beware shop hours in May. May is a very busy month for public holidays what with May Day, 1945 Victory Day, Ascension, and probably “bridges” between the odd short week? School holidays may be a factor too?

    Reply

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