Shoppers are not allowed inside, and the pavement outside is almost empty, but the French capital’s Printemps department store burned its Christmas window display on Tuesday because – global epidemic or not – it’s an annual tradition.
“This difficult moment, during special context, makes it even more necessary to continue this tradition,” said PrintMeps’ artistic director David Molière.
Performing this year at the flagship store of the Prenemps group on the Boulevard Houndsman are fashionably dressed puppets on strings that jig to music in many winter settings including a ski resort cable car and a ship at sea.
In one tableau, a band performs in the alpine clearing. In another, the puppets on the trapeze revolve around a Christmas tree on a Parisian terrace.
Most years, the pavement outside the window is jammed with crowds of shoppers and tourists to get a picture of the display on their smartphone.
But Paris is in lockdown due to Kovid-19. Tourists are staying away, non-essential stores are closed, and people are ordered to stay at home until they are on important business.
On Tuesday, only a handful of people stopped to take a picture, then hurried their way.
“It’s a little sad,” dance student Rafael Gabon said.
“I’m glad they lit it. It sounds like people are there, but it’s true that compared to previous years, there really isn’t any. It’s empty.”
Printemps sells makeup and clothing for high-end brands such as Burberry and Gucci, and is owned by Qatari investors. It has been greatly affected by the epidemic.
Four of the group’s 19 department stores will be closed and some 450 jobs are in danger, with the union representing some employees this month.
Shoppers can still purchase goods from the Hausman store, but only via phone or email by connecting with the sales consultant, with their purchase then sent in the mail.
(This story is published from a wire agency feed without textual modifications.)
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