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France, a model for independent grocers

In France, independent grocers are supported through state planning legislation

Vive la France when it comes to legislation and looking at the long-term impact of supermarkets on French society.

Such is the case put forth in an article that praises the French way of protecting independents compared to the U.K.’s supermarket landscape that contributes to obesity, rising unemployment and the growing gap between the haves and have nots.

In France, the report states there are more than 80,000 independent retailers, more than double the number in the U.K.

Some legislation that has supported independents include the Raffarin Law, introduced in 1996, that required any store larger than 300 square metres to obtain full planning consent before being constructed.

The law made hypermarkets selling non-food items more difficult, meanwhile in the U.K., the local planning authority determines what stores get the greenlight, and not local organizations and people.

An example of the rapid rate of U.K. supermarket expansion can be seen in the numbers of Tesco stores: 2,365 stores in 2005, up from 568 in 2000.

To read more, go here.

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