Something a little different this week…À vendre: For Sale.
Here in rural France there are innumerable properties, both residential and commercial, for sale. Many of these – perhaps even the majority – have been up for sale for many years. And they are, frankly, unsaleable.
When it comes to commercial properties – shops – the economic consequences of improved transport links and the spread of car ownership have left many rural communities with little more than the bare essentials available locally. In our village, for example, there is a boulangerie, a pharmacy, a ‘superette’ and – bizarrely – two hairdressers.
There are also plenty of empty shops optimistically displaying ‘À Vendre’ signs – as they have been for many years, to judge from the distinctly dated style of the shopfronts. Here are a couple of examples:
Of rather more architectural interest is this failed enterprise – hairdresser, parfumerie and purveyor of fishing supplies. Obviously, nothing worked:
Even large towns are proving incapable of supporting smaller local shops, as these two examples from Confolens illustrate:
Normal service will be resumed next week, with some reassuringly knackered doors from the cathedral city of Chartres.
Thursday Doors 29 March 2017