Économie et Statistique n° 344 Stock option taxation - Internal migrations in France - Jobs in the service sector - Large specialist stores
Large specialist stores take on the hypermarkets
The non-food market made the most of the steady increase in household demand from 1997 to 1999. Large stores have proved better placed than small shops to satisfy this rise in demand. Most of this growth has been taken up by the large, specialist non-food stores and, to a lesser extent, the large, predominantly food stores such as the hypermarkets. The department stores and large mail order companies have been treading water for the last five years. Although hypermarket sales are ahead of large specialist store sales, the large specialist stores are on the way to catching up with their competitors. These two forms of large stores have gradually taken over household appliances and home furnishings from small shops and the crafts trade. Large specialist stores also take the lion's share over the other two forms of large stores in clothing, sports goods and, to a lesser extent, shoes. However, books, photo-optics, fine leather goods, and clocks, watches and jewellery are still the preserve of the small shops. The boom in large specialist stores gave rise to a 50% increase in their staff from 1993 to 1999. The increase was even sharper in the culture-leisure-sports sector. This growth actually comprises a more frequent use of part-time work than in the past. Large specialist stores are distinct from the other forms of large stores in that they have higher profitability and returns on the workforce, whereas the hypermarkets put their sales surface areas to better use.