28 December, 2013

Saturday night, fever has gone

The Christmas atmosphere has left Ralliement square. On Saturday night, fever was going away, mobile shops owners were packaging their items, leaving behind them their little wooden huts. Those will soon move and the Ralliement square will become once again the heart, a little bit cold, of the town. From now, pedestrians who used to walk throughout the little village which enlived their weekends, will be able to compare the attractiveness of the place with and without opened stores.

Through the end of year market, the last weeks saw the issue of Sundays openings back in the front news. Christophe Béchu, after he suggested an equal numbers of Sundays opened, for mobile and settled stores (two per year), triggered the hostility of all shops owners. Those who come just for a month, with five Sundays opened, said that in that hypothesis, their presence would become impossible, because of the loss of turnover. The cafes and restaurants warned they would also suffer a lack of customers during the last Sundays of the year. Because of the municipal campaign, the deputy-mayor in charge of commerce, Jacques Motteau, forerly favourable to restrictive Sundays openings, expressed quickly a critic against such an idea and announced something would have to be studied.

The risk of the shutdown of mobile stores most of the Sundays of December looks unthinkable. But the implementation of a new vision of the down town attractiveness looks necessary. If the idea of a new commercial gallery where the post office is located opens new perspectives, it will not be feasible unless a complete new deal about the conditions of commerce in Angers down town : accesses, car par fares and schedules are the first questions to consider... before next Christmas.

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