Romaric Demée, the young business owner, admitted he was knowingly breaking the law by keeping his shop in the suburb of Nanterre open seven days a week.
He has been given a month to inform the court of his chosen closing day. If he misses this deadline, he will be given a €1,000 fine per day, as well as for each day the closure is not respected.
“It’s unfair competition,” Tarek Rouin, the owner of a neighbouring boulangerie, told French newspaper Le Parisien.
The neighbourhood’s boulangeries had regular meetings, he said, to agree which days each of them should close. “I take Friday off, another colleague closes on Monday . . . But Romaric has never wanted to get involved.”
Demée told Le Parisien: “Corner shops and petrol stations are allowed to open every day of the week. We must be the only profession which is forced to lose a whole day’s earnings per week.”
The issue of whether shops should stay closed on Sundays has proven quite controversial in France.
In recent years things have been changing, especially in big cities, where you will always find something open on a Sunday.
In 2017, François Hollande chipped away at France’s laws with the creation of special international tourism zones where shops could operate on Sundays.
Baguette consumption shot up during France’s first lockdown in the spring, leading the labour ministry to approve a special waiver allowing bakeries to remain open seven days a week to keep up with demand.