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UPDATE: Sephora wins opening fight

UPDATE: Court throws out bid to make Champs-Elysées perfume store shut at 21.00

PERFUME and beauty products company Sephora has won its court action against unions who wanted it to close its flagship Champs-Elysées shop at 21.00.

It had warned that 45 jobs could have been lost if unions had won their case. The company says the shop, which is open until midnight weekdays and 1.00 at the weekend, has been operating these hours since it opened in 1996 and it does 20% of its business in the evening.

A group of shopworkers’ unions in Paris, Clic-P, had launched a legal bid at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris to force the closure. It said opening after 21.00 should be only “in exceptional circumstances” and for “socially useful” reasons.

Sephora said in a full-page advert in Tuesday’s Le Parisien/Aujourd'hui en France “more than 90% of staff say they are happy with the way of working”.

It added that staff were not forced to work evenings if they did not want to – and were paid 25% extra.

The shop is Sephora’s largest in the world and it said late-opening allowed many tourists to shop when they wanted and 50% did the bulk of their spending in the evenings, in shops, restaurants and cinemas.

However, Sephora was ordered to close its store at Bercy Village on Sundays.

Clic-P has also launched court action against shops such as Abercrombie and Uniqlo; having previously won complaints against Monoprix, BHV and Galeries Lafayette.

In April the union group said it would start campaigning for a ban on shops opening before 9.00 or closing after 19.30.

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