If the furniture, decoration and DIY sectors are doing better than before the crisis, clothing sales fell by 15% compared to 2019, according to the French Fashion Institute.
Despite nearly two years of health crisis and months of forced closure, the fabric of small French businesses has not crumbled. Thanks to state financial support, bankruptcies have remained rare in this sector, as in the rest of the economy. Only 30% of independent traders used the State Guaranteed Loan (PGE), “proof that their cash flow was not too bad», It is emphasized in the cabinet of Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister in charge of Trade since the resignation of Alain Griset.
In 2021, the entire sector even benefited from the economic recovery. Forty-six chambers of commerce and industry (CCI) out of 60 recently surveyed by CCI France indicate that “Traders in their territory are generally satisfied with their activity”, notes a situation update published on January 8.
But independent traders are a patchwork of special cases, and not all are equally well off. “There is a very wide variety of cases…