France Should End Store Restrictions, Vente-privee Founder Says

The laws sometimes have to be open to the new world, and the new world is business that never stops, entrepreneur Jacques-Antoine Granjon said in a phone interview. Where there is a need and where you have people who are ready to work, they should let them work. The French government is studying a 1906 law that forbids most non-food retailers from opening Sunday as some stores clash with unions over trading hours amid the highest metropolitan unemployment rate in 14 years. Last month, a court ruled do-it-yourself retailers Kingfisher Plc (KGF) s Castorama and Groupe Adeos Leroy Merlin should stay shut Sundays, while LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC) s Sephora chain was ordered to close its Champs Elysees branch by 9 p.m. on weekdays. Vente-Privee, which sells branded goods at discounted prices in eight European countries and in the U.S., is reaping the benefits of fewer restrictions for online merchants. The third-most-visited website daily in France after Inc. (AMZN) and EBay Inc. (EBAY) forecasts revenue will rise 15 percent to 20 percent this year with growth in all its markets, including Spain and Italy, Granjon said. Sales reached 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion) last year. The potential of this company is huge, he said. We have a long view of developing it. Sales in the U.S., which Vente-Privee entered in November 2011 through a joint venture with credit card company American Express Co. (AXP) , may as much as double this year to $50 million, Granjon said. The unit, based in Manhattan , should reach its goal of being profitable by 2015, he said.

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View gallery French Minister for Agribusiness Guillaume Garot on July 19, 2013 in Quimper, western France (AFP Photo/Fred Tanneau) 18 hours ago Paris (AFP) – France on Monday criticised a decision by Amazon to ban the sale of foie gras on its British website, following an animal rights campaign accusing producers of the delicacy of “very un-British” cruelty. Activists have for years campaigned against the sale of foie gras, saying the practice of force-feeding ducks or geese in order to make the French gourmet item is cruel and amounts to torture. “I regret Amazon’s decision,” Guillaume Garot, France’s minister for agribusiness, told AFP. “I once again want to point out the efforts made by French producers over the years to maintain real product quality while respecting the animal’s well-being,” he said. The site, which on Monday added “foie gras” to a list of prohibited animal products including “whale, dolphin and shark parts”, would not comment on the reasons behind the ban. But animal rights campaign group Viva! said the move followed pressure by the organisation, which earlier this year presented the US online retailer with “evidence of the abject suffering” caused by foie gras production. A petition against the sale of the delicacy was also signed by more than 10,000 Amazon customers and Viva! supporters. Foie gras – which literally means fatty liver – is hugely popular in France, where it is eaten at Christmas and on other special occasions, but ongoing controversy over production of the delicacy has given it a bad name in other parts of the world. The sale of foie gras has been outlawed in California, while Britain’s House of Lords has taken it off the menu. Garot said he was nevertheless “very confident” about the future of the foie gras industry, which employs nearly 100,000 people directly and indirectly in France.

France protests Amazon UK ban on foie gras

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