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Thread: Sephora Really Wants French People to Work on Sundays

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Feb 2007

    Default Sephora Really Wants French People to Work on Sundays

    Fucking Sephora Really Wants French People to Work on Sundays

    Fucking Sephora, man. It can’t just be content with the fact that people all over the world yearn for its outrageously expensive (and tiny) cosmetics — now, thanks in part to the opportunity provided by a stagnant French economy and a busy location on the Champs-Élysées, Sephora is leading the charge to dismantle some of France’s labor laws just so it can sell makeup on Sunday. Because workers want to work, you guys, and it’s definitely not exploitative of Big Makeup to let workers do what they do naturally — serve their corporate overlords. When you think about it, workers should really be paying Sephora, but let’s deal with one thing at a time.

    According to a thorough report from USA Today, Sephora has emerged as one of the leaders in a struggle to dismantle French labor laws that it and its supporters say are harming the French economy. For the record, the French economy is in pretty shitty shape — unemployment is at about 10.5 percent, and the country hasn’t really emerged from the 2008 recession. Some observers point to France’s persnickety labor laws and powerful labor unions as the source of at least some of the economy’s stagnation. If only the government would get out of the way of growth — so that line of thought goes — the economy would be much stronger.

    Shops in France, on the whole, have been barred from opening on Sundays and staying open past 9:00 pm since 1906. With the exception of people employed in essential state functions, i.e. hospital workers, police officers, etc., Sundays have been preserved as a day of rest for French workers. Until about a month ago when a French court forced Sephora to conform to the country’s labor restrictions, customers would linger in the Champs-Èlysées store until 1:00 or 2:00 am. The company, part of the luxury French conglomerate LVMH, sees an opportunity to haul in a lot more revenue by staying open later and opening on Sunday, when a lot of customers with disposable income (and little time during the regular work week) might be more willing to do their makeup shopping.

    Critics of Sephora’s efforts to ease labor restrictions say that more casual observers of this ongoing labor debate might not be familiar with the cookie-mouse argument: Sephora is a mouse, and staying open on Sundays is the cookie. Maybe extra shifts at a retail job in the Champs-Èlysées Sephora will help workers willing to work earn more money and, ultimately, inject a little extra vigor into the economy, but big corporations are never just trying to give more people a chance to make an honest living — Sunday is such a potentially lucrative day for the store that it’s willing to eat a $162,000 government fine just to keep its doors open.

    Sephora hungers for profit, just like any other company. Economic freedom arguments are just smokescreens corporations use to loosen labor laws and operate at an even higher advantage over the overmatched, individual worker. Besides, it’s not like France can’t be like Germany and have its cake and eat it, too — thanks to the efforts of church officials and unions, Germany has managed to restrict retailers to staying open on only a few Sundays every year, and right now, Germany is the engine driving the European economy.
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  2. #2
    Elite Member MmeVertigina's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    I used to hate things being closed on Sunday when I was frequently living in Europe. Germany in particular had some very odd hours (to me). I did love how the work days tended to start later in France. Interesting article, thanks.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Apr 2006


    Seconded. I used to hate that closed on Sundays thing too. So inconvenient.
    MmeVertigina likes this.

  4. #4
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    fellow traveller


    i don't know. while it's certainly convenient to be able to go out and shop on sunday, there's something to be said for having a day of the week where people don't have to work and where you can't go out and buy shit and have to find other things to do.
    stef likes this.
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  5. #5
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    In the "D"


    Sunday's my shopping day. I work the rest of the week. Although I didn't go anywhere today...
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  6. #6
    Elite Member Quazar's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    Sunday's my shopping day. I work the rest of the week. Although I didn't go anywhere today...
    Me too. I usually work 6 days a week and Sunday is my only day off. In my county, we have blue laws so I have to go elsewhere to shop as well.
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  7. #7
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Sleepy night night land


    I remember the malls used to be closed on Sundays in Maryland. The grocery store was open, the pharmacy and convenience store. Maybe some of the discount department stores (Grants, Mammoth Mart, etc.) would be open, too.

  8. #8
    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    I remember the "blue laws" here in Pennsylvania very well. Sundays were so boring. I was lucky and the blue laws were lifted just in time for me to spend Sundays at the malls with my friends. We would get hme just as football was ending and the devine smell of dinner had filled the house.
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