Enterprises in FranceEdition 2017
This new edition of Enterprises in France in the Insee Références collection provides a complete structural overview of our productive system.
Commerce and regional inequalities
As with changes in the population, employment in the retail sector is more dynamic on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, in the Paris region and the Rhone valley. Small shops are also more widespread in the south-east quarter, unlike the Paris region and the northern departments.
Another source of regional difference, the "metropolisation" phenomenon has resulted in stronger employment growth in the food and personal equipment sector in the major cities. In small and medium towns, employment in retail commerce is sluggish and major chains play a greater role in food retailing than they do in major population centres.
On a more local geographical level, the problem is more about everyday access to stores. It is not as developed in rural areas as it is in towns: in addition to a lower population density, there is also a lower number of shops per inhabitant. Although certainly better in urban areas, proximity to the shops is far from being uniform. Although population density is the main factor in the lack of uniformity, the distance to the majority of shops also tends to reduce when the population's average income or the proportion of older people increases.