Friday, February 02, 2007

‘Formula Business’ Issue Strikes Paris (France)


Portland is not the only city in the world trying to figure out how to deal with international business chains that are increasingly working their way into downtown settings.

According to an article published in The New York Times on January 31st, Paris officials have banned the Swedish clothing retailer H&M from opening a megastore on the Champs-Élysées, the City of Light’s most famous and elegant thoroughfare, where rent for a 1,000- square-foot retail space can be more than $1 million dollars a year.

Most of the music clubs and movie theaters on the avenue have been replaced by well-known international names like Adidas Gap, Benetton, the Disney Store, Nike, Toyota, Renault and Peugeot, and McDonald’s. Paris officials are putting together a plan they say is aimed at “stopping the ‘banalization’ of the Champs-Élysées,” according to the Times article. But some Parisians see changes on the avenue as a sort of ‘democratic’ evolution— and a reflection of the increasingly multi-ethnic French society.


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