Carcassonne: in front of the Goliath Rocadest, the merchants of the Bastide fear “a desertification of the city center”

Eight “Retail Park” stores in the Rocadest area opened their doors on Wednesday, May 4th. An arrival in the commercial landscape of Carcassonne that worries the small traders of the city center…

Everyone wants their piece of the pie. It’s just that some have more appetite than others. Will the Rocadest area, its hypermarket and its dozens of stores, be big eaters? Will they eat the piece of pie downtown? While the first eight signs of “Parque do Varejo” opened their doors this Wednesday, May 4, small businessmen in the city center expressed their concern about the arrival of this Goliath of business.

William, a technician at home appliance brand Pulsat.
Independent – NATHALIE AMEN VALS

We don’t hide our face. Our turnover will inevitably decrease.

Centrakor, King Juillet, Black Store, Jysk… among the stores in this new shopping center, we find the company Boulanger, specialized in electronics and appliances. Direct competition for the Pulsat multimedia store, located in the heart of Bastide for years.

William, one of the shop’s technicians, expresses his fears. “They’ll eat some of our share of the cake for sure. Obviously it’s a little worrying. A good part of our clientele comes from Trèbes. Maybe coming to Carcassonne, instead of pushing downtown, they go to Boulanger. Fortunately, they’re going to Boulanger. , we deliver, install, fix. When we sell and deliver a washing machine to a grandma, just 5 hours later she calls us because she can’t get it to work, we go back to her… Not sure if Boulanger provides this local service, appreciate the seller. We are not hiding our face, our turnover will necessarily decrease. But it won’t be as catastrophic as for the ready-to-wear stores downtown. They, in my opinion, they will catch. On our side, we had planned the coup. The managers launched a large Pulsat store in Rieux-Minervois last month in case things go wrong here because of Rocadest.”

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Carcassonne: the first Rocadest stores open their doors

I’ve never been so worried about my business

With a dozen dedicated stores (Cache-cache, Bonobo, Bréal, Grain de malice, etc.), textiles will undeniably be king in the new commercial area. Sandrine, the manager of a ready-to-wear store just steps from Place Carnot, blames the scam.

“It’s unfortunate. To be honest, I’ve never been more concerned about my business than I am today. I fear a desertification of the city center. There are already many commercial areas in Carcassonne in relation to the number of inhabitants, judge the businessman. Especially since these openings occur when there is no more money. When do we have to start repaying zero-interest loans taken out during the health crisis? […] If consumers are going to spend 100 euros at Rocadest, then they won’t come to spend money in the city. We cannot forget that we are a poor city. People don’t have great purchasing power in Carcassonne… Like my colleagues, I’m waiting. Will we be able to face this giant? I’m not sure. Let’s see if a year from now there are cascading court settlements…”

Bénédicte Galy (right), shoe manager Octavio and her employee.

Bénédicte Galy (right), shoe manager Octavio and her employee.
Independent – NATHALIE AMEN VALS

Either we continue to work more or less correctly, or we die.

Manager of the Octavio shoe store in the city centre, Bénédicte also does not welcome the arrival of the new area. And her stores, including Besson shoes, opened on Wednesday. “It’s not good news. Of course, I’m afraid that the clientele will leave. It’s obvious. As a freelancer, I’m targeting very loyal customers and I hope to keep them. In fact, I hope the shopping areas take a step I try to convince myself Besides, that reassures me. Either we will continue to work more or less correctly, or we will die and lower the curtain. she insists.

At Pets in the Cité, a pet store on rue de Verdun, the concern is also palpable. For good reason: Tom & co – a specialized pet shop – is on the list of brands that will soon see the light of day at Rocadest. “The city didn’t need another mall. They’ll end up eating each other. Either way, it’s going to hurt us. Even if only 10% of my customers go there,” it will always be 10% less turnover for me. As a locomotive, only Mango was left in the city center. Unfortunately, they are heading to the area,” laments Sabrina, the manager.

Until now, rue Courtejaire, the Mango store of the Starlic group, is moving to the new shopping centre. The Spanish franchise offers 600 m² in Rocadest and moves from its former premises in the city center to the La Toile shoe store (same group), until now located across the street. The change will take place in June.

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