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LV evade trade edict beneath ethnic shadow

May '06
At what time is a store not a commercial venture? No sooner it calls itself Louis Vuitton (LV), it turns itself into an 'art arcade.'

French comfort goods chain, with leather bags that beautify the arms of the rich and famous, has revealed no cultural pretensions outside the fashion industry.

To evade France's stringent Sunday trading laws, the company had turned its Champs-Elysées division into an outlet with a 'cultural role.'

It has formed a roomy arcade on the top floor of the seven-stored building, launched last year after a two-year overhauling.

Paris authorities agreed the alteration in its arrangement, from commercial to cultural even at the cost od drawing CFTC-Commerce shop worker's association's ire.

The association seeks legal action against the firm claiming the move as 'hoax' to circumvent Sunday trading laws.

The cultural commotion of the store is very little compared with the commercial activity, a union official said.

According to LV, the store is the biggest lavish boutique in the world, with 1,800 square metres of retail space and 6,000 clientele a day.

However, it also maintains that the new building, which has retained its famous art deco facade, and is paying attention to modern-day art and culture - hence its new 'Espace Louis Vuitton'.

"We have completed all essential formalities to acquire consent to open on Sundays," states a company representative.

They have laid huge outlay into the formation of this artistic space where foremost modern-day artists will be exhibited.

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