Paris: Tourism Takes Over The Champs-Elysees

How did the residents of Maastricht feel about the arrival of H&M in their fair city?

photograph courtesy of Willem_H

Elaine Scoliano recently reported in The New York Times on the ban placed against Swedish clothing company H&M from setting up shop on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It seems some of the folks at city hall have begun to lament the “banalisation” of the storied avenue, an occurrence most notably characterized by the invasion of international megastores at the expense of more traditional French institutions.

But with the Champs-Élysées boasting the highest real estate rates in Europe, only giant corporations like Adidas and tourist-oriented shops can afford the rent. Quainter institutions, like the city’s famous movie houses, frequently find themselves operating in the red.

All of which makes us wonder: If the anti-banalisation folks get their way and purveyors of €5 tourist T’s are pushed into Montmartre, where will the smut-peddlers go?

About the author

TJ developed a taste for travel while living (and ostensibly) studying in Rome. He soon began catching bargain-basement Ryanair flights to various European destinations, where he would immediately scope out the dodgiest bar upon arrival. (He also saw some art along the way.) After returning to SUNY Albany, he developed an independent study in travel writing, which was mostly an excuse to drive cross-country. The 7200 mile trip, made in 11 days with two friends in a very small red car, culminated in a collection of essays called MOVE!, which he describes as incredibly self-indulgent and quite un-publishable. After moving to Manhattan, he found his way to EuroCheapo and has spent most of his time writing reviews for the New York City listings.
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