The companies affected were Castorama a subsidiary of Kingfisher with over 12,000 employees and 105 stores and Leroy Merlin 53,000 employees in 2010 and 300 stores. A total of 15 stores will be closed on Sunday in the Paris area.
The case came to court due to a complaint by Bricorama, another DIY retailer which ordered to close 24 its stores on Sundays from last year. The ruling has been strongly criticised as an anti growth measure as the French economy attempts to recover from recession and reduce the nations deficit.
Pierre Gattaz, headof the employers' association MEDEF said:
I was shocked by the rulings.
The law must change so that it stops wreaking havoc. It's unbearable: clients want to consume more and staff want to work more and they can't. It's crazy.
French government has privileged Sunday as a day of rest through legislation since 1906. However opposition to the restrictions is increasing among businesses and politicians. Candidate for Paris mayor, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, wanst to liberalise Sunday trading laws to win back tourists to better compete with London, she estimated the reform could create 10,000 new jobs.