The first, post-coronavirus shopping day in the French capital got off to a bumpy start on Monday, but by mid-afternoon a number of streets and some stores, too were buzzing with activity.

Tension had run high in the days leading up to France’s first opening day on Monday. People would be allowed to move around freely, without the obligatory permission form, and most stores were allowed to resume business. But shopping centers, along with restaurants and cafés, were left off the initial list of new openings to be revisited in three weeks’ time.

There was hope that the famed Boulevard Haussmann department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette would be given the green light, too, but at the last minute local authorities voted no, dashing the expectations of executives and store employees who had scrambled to outfit their stores, erecting plexiglass in front of checkout stands, setting up hand sanitizer stations, and taping distancing guides on the floors. Continue reading