In town and countryside, traditional shops within easy reach
The decline in the number of traditional shops in France has been easing since the early 2000s. At the same time, the rise in large food stores is starting to lose momentum. For most types of outlets, the share of municipalities possessing local retail facilities has been diminishing, but more slowly in the recent period. Retail facilities are generally more numerous in urban-area municipalities than in rural-area localities. However, nearly all localities, even in rural areas, offer rapid access to a food retail outlet. Pharmacies, bakeries, and florists are the retail categories whose distribution most closely matches that of the population. The new-found growth of rural areas and large towns and cities in recent years could alter the retail landscape, although it has not yet affected the structure of the retail sector.