DWF logo


DWF logo

            Countries in Focus: France

            Led by Emmanuel Macron, founder of the centre-left En Marche (Forward) party, France boasts the third largest economy in the EU after Germany and the UK.

            Although France emerged from the financial crisis more intact than many of its neighbours, it continues to report a high unemployment rate of just under 10% and its debt levels continue to increase.

            Macron’s star is thought to be waning, with thousands recently protesting against his reforms, which included giving businesses more flexibility in negotiating wages and conditions with workers, and limiting damages paid out to employees for unfair dismissal.

            In recent years, France has been blighted by horrific terrorist attacks in Nice, Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray and Paris. This has led to growing support for far-right parties such as the National Rally, formerly known as the Front National (National Front).

            While the attacks had an immediate impact on consumer confidence and tourism, France remains the most popular holiday destination in the world, attracting more than 80 million tourists each year.

            The retail outlook

            Retail sales continue to rise – increasing 2% in value to €506bn (£442bn) in 2017 – and ecommerce growth, like many other nations, continues to outpace physical sales, with online sales up 14% to €81.7bn (£71bn) in 2017. This is expected to surpass the €100bn (£87bn) threshold in 2020.

            The country has a strong department store sector. According to Kantar Group, department store sales in France increased 4.1%, compared with 0.4% for the wider clothing market. There are concerns over the imbalance of taxes paid by pureplays compared with bricks-and-mortar retailers and French lawmakers are considering proposals to counteract this.

            Click a flag to find out more about each country


            Download your copy of The Global Consumer 2019 here >


            Hilary Ross

            • Head of Retail, Food & Hospitality // Executive Partner (London)

            Ed Meikle

            • Partner // Head of Retail Group

            Dominic Watkins

            • Partner // Head of Food Group

            We use cookies to give you the best user experience on our website. Please let us know if you accept our use of cookies.

            Manage cookies

            Your Privacy

            When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. We mainly use this information to ensure the site works as you expect it to, and to learn how we can improve the experience in the future. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
            Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change permissions. However, blocking some types of cookies may prevent certain site functionality from working as expected

            Functional cookies


            These cookies let you use the website and are required for the website to function as expected.

            These cookies are required

            Tracking cookies

            Anonymous cookies that help us understand the performance of our website and how we can improve the website experience for our users. Some of these may be set by third parties we trust, such as Google Analytics.

            They may also be used to personalise your experience on our website by remembering your preferences and settings.

            Marketing cookies

            These cookies are used to improve and personalise your experience with our brands. We may use these cookies to show adverts for our products, or measure the performance of our adverts.