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?