The Good Price mini-market in Colombes has been ordered to close after it did not comply with the conditions of its lease, which stated the shop must act as a “general food store,” the Court of Nanterre ruled.
The local authority argued members of the local community were not being served properly because the shop did not sell pork or alcohol products.
According to an employee named Karima, the store’s decision not to sell alcohol is not a matter of religion. “We avoid alcohol because it attracts bad clientele, it’s more for security of the employees,” she explained. “It’s just a choice, we will adapt. We often tell customers that if there are products they like we will order them.”
Many customers, such as Amina, choose Good Price because it’s close to where they live and because it is inexpensive, but also because of the choices it offers for Muslim customers: “there aren’t a lot of stores like this one, I think that the owner should be free to sell what he wants.”
The premises belong to the HLM office and the City of Colombes. The mayor Nicole Goueta has negotiated with the store for a long time: “It was a service that was provided for the population, we must respect laicité in this neighborhood,” Goueta explained. “There were paintings with passages from the Qur’an written in Arabic, it’s not the type of grocery store that we are accustomed to seeing in our neighborhoods.” According to sources, the tenant is going to appeal the decision.