John Lewis boss Andy Street didn't mince his words.
Nothing works in France and no-one cares, he said.
He later apologised, for his remarks but, economically speaking, there are few people who would argue that France is not in trouble. Here are a few of the problems facing France:
The president, Francois Hollande, is the least popular in the country's history.
France's budget deficit, the government confessed, isn't going to get down to the EU standard three per cent of GDP until 2017.
Disinflation, the spectre haunting the Eurozone, has set in in France too, made worse by stuttering GDP growth as France seems to flirt with recession.
Another harbinger of Eurozone floundering is high unemployment and France has been no exception. What is more, this chart is going squarely in the wrong direction.
Finally, the purchasing managers index, which measures activity in different economic sectors has seen its lines move in the wrong direction. France is hugely important to the Eurozone, one of its so-called twin engines, and the single currency zone could do with things picking up for its second-largest economy.
Here are five charts which tell the French story.
Quarterly budget deficit as a percentage of GDP is going up:
France is suffering from disinflation:
GDP growth (seasonally adjusted) has been weak or negative:
Unemployment is rising:
Finally, activity in important industries has fallen below the growth threshold: