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More cafes and fewer sex shops: How Paris streets are changing

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More cafes and fewer sex shops: How Paris streets are changing
Photo: Angelo DeSantis/WikiCommons
11:08 CEST+02:00
Have you noticed the streets of Paris are changing? While book shops and sex shops are disappearing rapidly they are being replaced by cafés and mini supermarkets, a new study reveals.

There are 62,507 retailers in Paris (see second map below), according to a study from urban planning company Apur that was published on Tuesday.

And while there are only around 25 more shops than there were in 2014, the types of outlets have changed at a rapid pace, the study noted. 

(A closer look at all the shops and eateries around République in central Paris.)

Disappearing are the bookshops, sex shops, news agencies, and car-repair garages. In their place, mini-supermarkets, sports halls, organic shops, and nail salons.

In fact, the study noted “profound changes” in the three years between 2014 and 2017, outlining an “exceptional density” in the Paris shopping scene. (All shops marked below).

(There's a lot of red on the map. Red stands for food outlets, including supermarkets.)

So dense, in fact, that there are 28 retail businesses in Paris for every 1,000 residents.

This figure differs wildly depending on where you are in Paris, with 139 shops per thousand in the 1st arrondissement and just 12 per thousand in the 19th arrondissement. 

The study, which was carried out at the request of the City Hall and the Paris Chamber of Commerce, noted that a pedestrianised city like Paris favoured a healthy population of small shops.

So what are all these new shops in Paris?

There was a 9 percent increase in nail and beauty salons, the study noted, a 9 percent rise in supermarkets, and a 6 percent increase in mini-supermarkets. 

There were 652 new cafes and restaurants, a 5 percent growth, taking the total number to 14,530 (see cafe and restaurant map below).

Another huge growth was with bicycle shops, that is, those selling, repairing or renting bikes. Since 2014 Paris has seen 46 new bike shops open their doors, a 57 percent increase.

(The yellow on this map stands for cafes and restaurants.)

What's disappearing?

The study found that since 2014 there has been an 11 percent drop in car repair garages, a 6-percent drop in bookstores, and a 28 percent plummet for newsagents.

The study pointed to the internet as one of the main reasons that newsagents and even book stores were closing down. It also suggested that the internet had muscled many sex shops out of business, with the red-light businesses suffering a 13 percent droop.

To see a lot more from Apur's study, including interactive maps, click here (in French).

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