The heat wave that hit New Aquitaine did not spare Poitiers (Vienne). Town center merchants are invited to adapt their opening hours to accommodate customers outside the hottest hours.
“We must do everything to protect people at risk, that’s all”. This is how Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil sums up his approach. The current president of the association of traders “Poitiers le centre” has just posted a video in which he invites professionals to open their stores at arranged hours. The reason given: the heat wave which currently crosses the entire region of New Aquitaine. “Since the start of the heat wave, customer flows have been staggered. It’s an economic necessity”, defends the entrepreneur.
“With the heat, I’m not sure people go out a lot“, remarks Sandrine Raveau at the microphone of France 3 Poitou-Charentes. According to this shopkeeper who runs an ice cream stand in Poitiers, during the heat wave, “people stay at home more, in the cool“.
To compensate for the lack of customers in the middle of the day due to the high temperatures, the association “Poitiers le centre” offers professionals to open between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. then from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. “We had this idea during a board meeting. We thought we had to do something, come up with a solution”, explains Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil. Léonore Moncond’huy, the mayor of Poitiers, welcomed the initiative. “Faced with the heat wave, the city center of Poitiers has gold traders”, declared the chosen one on Twitter, in response to the video of Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil.
But the young boss recognizes that the proposal was not unanimous among traders. “The reactions were binary. On the one hand we have those who told us that they agreed to play the game and on the other there are those who have no choice and who will not be able to”. According to the manager of several catering brands in Poitiers, “about twenty shops”should open at adjusted times.
This proposal only concerns the period of the heat wave, which should end by Sunday according to information from Météo France. But Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil announces that he is thinking of new ways to welcome customers when this heat wave has passed. “We would like, why not, to change the models of today. We are looking for other alternatives”.
It is important for us to show the public authorities that independent traders are mobilizingJean-Baptiste Dubreuil, merchant and president of the association “Poitiers le centre”
“Create an Andalusian-style Poitiers” would be the first of them. Understand a change in the duration of the opening hours of stores in the city center to model them on those of the signs of Andalusia in Spain. During the summer, these are sometimes open until 11 p.m. “It would be a good idea during the two or three months when it is really hot”, remarks Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil.
In addition to raising awareness of heat, “Poitiers le centre” intends to strengthen prevention against global warming among the city’s merchants. “We know that the situation is not good. In thirty years there will be no one left”, fears the president. “But we want to limit the breakage and we try, on our scale”, he remarks.
Thus, the association encourages the members of its network not to put air conditioning in the stores or to allow employees who wish to do so to stay cool. “It is important for us to show the public authorities that independent traders are mobilizing”, concludes Jean-Baptiste Dubreuil.
This weekend in Poitiers, temperatures could rise to 42°C. The entire department of Vienne is classified as heat wave red vigilance. Tomorrow Sunday, Météo France announces between 30 and 33°C.