Stores in France vs. the U.S.

SIBC is a student run council focused on giving its students the opportunity to participate in international business experiences. Our slogan “Peace Through Commerce” expresses SIBC’s intent on engaging in conscientious business enterprises. As a council, we engage in project groups with both national and international companies and fund international internships. Personally, I have formed part of this council since 2015, where I have performed both as a Marketing Director and Internship Director.

It is vital to appreciate the major differences between business cultures in order to successfully engage in international affairs. For this reason, SIBC believes that a summer immersed in Paris, and its business hub, is a worthy experience for an SIBC member.

Something that needs to be known by every American visiting France is that leisure time is VERY important for the French. In contrast to American businesses, French enterprises afford their employees with copious vacation time and short workdays. While we can find 24h stores in the U.S., it would be impossible to find an open store before 9am, or after 8pm in France. Not to mention how everything is closed on Sundays.

This is due to the belief that enough repose allows maximum labor productivity and an increase in profits. On the other hand, the U.S. looks to please the customer by being readily available, and thus increase profits. In short, if you’re traveling to France, be ready to manage your shopping habits around their reduced availability.

The council is focused on affording its students the tools to grow in an international environment. Since SIBC counts with a 1.1 million endowment, it will continue to support its deserving members, including USD, Notre Dame, and Benedictine. I encourage anyone interested in building Peace Through Commerce to join this council. 

Written by Fernanda Lopez Tolsa