By Writing Coulommiers
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The pandemic will have been the coup de grace for many traders of the Brie champagne. Small businesses weakened by the crisis and the confinements successive, they will have ended up lower the curtain and never lift it again. But traders’ malaise comes from further away. It had already been started for years and worsened with the pandemic crisis, signing thedeath warrant of many of them. The defendant is the Internet who will have been right small shops from city centers. The big cities are still relatively spared for the time being, but in the small towns like Montmirailit’s a disaster. Empty shops are on the rise and despite the efforts made, these businesses no longer find buyers.
Internet is killing traditional commerce
Interviewed, a merchant explains his daily life to us: “Customers have new habits. Very many people come to the store to try on a pair of shoes or try on several to make a choice. But unlike in the past when the goods were packed before the customer paid, now he goes out without buying and orders the same on the Internet. We feel like big dressing rooms for big groups on the internet. »
Same story with clothing vendors. They also have customers coming in, trying and leaving without buying. The visit is just to choose a size, even the color and the comfort. Merchants find themselves in a complicated situation, becoming a kind of showcase for large Internet groups such as Amazon, Wish or other web sellers.
No taxes or local jobs
The cry of anger comes from these traders who denounce unfair competition from these groups who practice ridiculously low prices “They don’t pay business capital or taxes in the countries where they sell. They manage through sleight of hand from their accountants to evade their tax obligations. We, on the other hand, pay full price and we are the ones who run the local economy. »
Service businesses more present
If we were to make the observation in the city of Montmirail, we indeed find this trend and the disappearance of old-fashioned shops as this resident of Montmirail explains to us “Before, there was no need to go anywhere else. We had everything we needed in town. Now, we have no more haberdashery, no more hardware store, no more bike store, no more crockery store and not a single clothing store in Montmirail. You have to go to town elsewhere to buy the necessities. It’s a shame. »
The only rue Lucien-Mathieu shows this radical change that occurred during the second half of the 20th century. century. Old postcards showed stores under each dwelling. From now on, there are only insurers, banks and real estate agents. But they too will meet their end since insurance, houses and even the bank are now online too.
Reviving life in the town center
For the traders of Montmirail, it has become clear that if they want to survive, they will have to find a new dynamic. Several solutions must be considered to bring back new businesses and protect those already in place.
“The Internet is not always progress”, insists a merchant from Montmirail. “We are killing businesses and when they are no longer there, prices will skyrocket on the Internet and consumers will ultimately have been cheated. In the meantime, we feel asphyxiated. »
A message that traders also send to presidential candidates: “Protect this local way of life! »
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