Place de l’Abbaye, the shops look gloomy

Place de l’Abbaye, the shops look gloomy

Les commerçants soulignent le sérieux des équipes. – Alexis BETHUNE

Travaux aux halles, chantier sur la place et dans les rues alentour, faute de clients, les restaurants du secteur subissent une baisse du chiffre d’affaires.

The renovation and beautification work on the Place de l’Abbaye started on February 2. For the past month, businesses, particularly restaurants, have seen a significant drop in footfall.

"At the beginning, it was very difficult, concedes Vincent Behgdad, from Comptoir des halles. We lost around a hundred place settings, or more than 50% of revenue. But we adapted. We decided to open on Friday and Saturday evenings. We are often full. It compensated for the losses, even if it’s not quite the same work, the same atmosphere or the same clients. At lunchtime, we mostly have people in a hurry who want to have a quick and good lunch. In the evenings at the end of the week, customers take more time. We reinvented ourselves around a new map."

At the Totem tobacco shop, Guilhem Roques also adapted: "We closed for a week. I brought my vacation forward to February rather than April. I also took the opportunity to make some adjustments in the store."

The construction site of the halls still on hold

The situation is more worrying at the Abbey bar. "Since the closing of the markets, it’s terrible, believes Pierre Glorieux. It was immediate. In two days, we lost 50% of turnover. Afterwards, the work on the square is almost anecdotal, although we are penalized. The problem is that the whole neighborhood is a big construction site. It’s chaotic. The worst thing is that we don't know when all this will end, nor when the work on the halls will begin. » As a result, the kitchen is currently closed. « An employee was dismissed for economic reasons.

Small consolation for traders, the efficiency of the teams on the site. "It was planned for more than two months of work, apparently the guys would be ahead of schedule. At the beginning of April, we should be good."

Traders are already planning on the future square, which could resemble the surroundings of the cathedral, with a deactivated concrete floor. "It'll be nice when it's finished… provided you hold out until then. For the feria and spring, we'll be on top, if we're not bankrupt before then."

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