The French Government's campaign to keep prices down is having its effect. M.Joseph Fontanet, Secretary?
The French Government's campaign to keep prices down is having its effect. M.Joseph Fontanet, Secretary of State for Commerce, announced Nov. 24, a list of suggested lower prices for 50 food products. Reductions ranged between 3 and 10 percent. The following day, private retailers at a Paris market - in the Avenue de St. Ouen - were among those who agreed to bring down their prices. Large placards were put up informing housewives of the reductions.
Although small in themselves, the suggested reductions would make a big difference to the cost of living if accepted by a majority of retailers.
M. Fontanet, announcing his "Operation Price Reduction", said the Government hoped to compensate for higher priced fresh foods, due to prolonged dry weather, by lowering prices of dry foodstuffs. There would be further Government measures to encourage the spread of lower price levels.
The Government campaign reflects largely the efforts of M. Edouard Leclerc, a retail grocer whose successful cut-price methods are well-known throughout France. M.Leclerc promotes low prices at his own stores with the fervour of a religious crusade. To spread his impact, he permits other grocers to use his name at no fee. His methods have angered high-price grocers - who have been forced to lower their prices - in areas where Leclerc and his followers operate.