Will e-commerce kill bodily commerce? Nice worry of native elected officers

It is the result of seven months of work and forty-two hearings in the National Assembly and in the field. Plenty of information on an important economic and political topic. A document that is timely a few days before the restitution of the “Assises du commerce”. Deputy (LR) Somme Emmanuel Maquet and Deputy (LREM) Charente Sandra Marsaud have finally published their report on the role and future of local shops in animation and territorial development.

Logistics last mile: how e-commerce is transforming cities

There are 21 proposals to consider business in spatial planning, the location of these companies and, of course, the impact of taxation on e-commerce.

“The main change is the rise of e-commerce [qui] breaks the connection between the consumer, the store, the neighborhood and the street “, parliamentarians write.

“Although the phenomenon has undeniably accelerated with the pandemic, it is currently impossible to know whether the role it will play will affect the very existence of stores in the future,” they add.

Converge taxation of physical commerce and e-commerce

Among their ideas put forward for public and legislative debate is the merger of physical trade-based and operator-based taxation, which focuses on selling products to consumers electronically, starting with the reform of the commercial tax. “Tascom” is really a tax that pays for all retail areas larger than 400 square meters and has a turnover of 460,000 euros without taxes.

“I don’t want to change liberalism, but when the CEO of Carrefour wants to start a 12,000 m2 hypermarket, he has to submit it to the relevant commercial development commission, the national commercial development commission and the impact study before he pays Tascom,” storm Francis Palombi said. President of the Confederation of Traders (27 federations, 450,000 employees, 1 million employees)

“Amazon, which sells only to consumers, must submit a building permit. That is inequality. ” he continues.

Four years of government schemes and programs

Failing to regulate the location of the e-commerce warehouse, the current government has been pursuing a policy of revitalizing the hearts of small and medium-sized cities for almost four years.

As part of the Law on Housing Development, Development and Digital Technology (Élan), published in October 2018, the services of the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion have created a specially tailored tool for communities: l Territorial Revitalization Operation (ORT).

The prefects now jointly manage the issuance of commercial operating licenses with the respective municipalities and inter-municipalities. Namely, the three of them can suspend for three years the installation of any equipment that is considered harmful to city centers.

This legal support was accompanied in the same year by a € 5 billion program dedicated to medium-sized cities called the “Action Cœur de ville”. There are so many loans for shops, housing, the tertiary sector, commercial space, but also investments for the purchase of land or equipment, from Action Logement, the National Housing Agency and the Banque des territories.

“The heart of the city of action », is going in the right direction, but it is not enough. In order for customers to return to the city center, public services must be returned, ” shade Jacques Creyssel, General Delegate of the Federation of Trade and Distribution (FCD, 7,467 stores out of a total of 19,170).

In late 2020, in the same vein, the executive launched the “Small Towns of Tomorrow” scheme with € 3 billion on the table, followed by the Banque des Territoires which released € 1 billion to revive trade and downtown activities.

Local markets and digital checks

Among the measures common to both plans, an annual subsidy of 20,000 euros for two years, or 40,000 euros, for employment managers city ​​centers. In other words, “Administrative, tax and legacy facilitators” who operate “Back and forth between the field and the town hall”, according to the director of the Banque des Territoires Olivier Sichel.

To date 350 managers of the city centers were financed: 122 for “Action Cœur de ville” and 228 for “Small towns of tomorrow” in the total amount of 13 million euros. In this context, 300 local digital platforms have been set up, from Béthune to Bastia.

At the same time, the General Directorate of Enterprises, which depends on the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Recovery, has just congratulated itself on signing 112,000 digital checks for 112,000 VSE, “Mostly businesses, to procure a digital solution and implement support.”

Accept that “local e-commerce remains shy”, says Olivier Sichel. “There is no explosion of local applications, but traders tell us ‘it allows me to be known and maintain activity in the event of a sanitary closure'”, adds the director of the Banque des Territoires.

“A well-planned omnichannel allows for increased traffic for businesses, but also requires job creation for the use of digital tools,” confirm MPs Maquet and Marsaud in their report on the role and future of local shops in animation and territorial development.

Large retail chains and small and medium-sized enterprises can easily achieve this, but this is a problem for the vast majority of independent retailers, who are ALL and find it difficult to determine the size of investment in this area and devote time to digital aspects of their profession. they continue, proposing that the envelope dedicated to the digitalization of business in France be relance “significantly improved”.

In the field, “It’s still hard! », abounds in Francis Palombi. “Individual traders are not reluctant, but it is difficult for them to enter the circle,” explains the president of the Confederation of Traders, a former candidate (LREM) in the parliamentary elections in Lozère.

The testimony was confirmed by a Mastercard survey conducted in December 2020 on a sample of 400 VSE managers employing between 1 and 9 employees. “67% of VSE believe that e-commerce is restrictive, although they consider it mandatory. Their main obstacle: time, money to be devoted to it and complexity “, deciphered by Céline Delacroix, Secretary General of the Trade Commission at CCI Paris Île-de-France.

“I explain to them that this will not complicate their work, but on the contrary give them the opportunity to work on their visibility and their notoriety,” he said. Naomi Ehile, digital consultant at the Val-de-Marne Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI 94).

Associations of elected officials are multiplying the proposals

In reality, “Local authorities have taken action without taking into account that the level of digital maturity is not always the same,” advice from Celine Delacroix, “You must first assess local supply and demand before investing in this type of digital solution,” says the secretary general of the trade commission of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry Île-de-France.

The territories themselves readily acknowledge the result “mixed”. “The local markets that worked were the ones that were designed in the long run with promotion, communication and animation,” we say to the Intercommunalités de France.

Therefore, by approaching the conclusions of the “Assises du commerce” organized by Bercy in December, communities are therefore multiplying the proposals to reconcile e-commerce and physical commerce.

The powerful association of the mayors of France, in a press release, points out the inequality between the taxation of physical companies and e-commerce, and calls for the creation of fair local taxation. “Maintaining the link between companies and the territory and integrating the environmental issue related to individual deliveries and packaging.”

“Administrative delays are a real handicap for competitiveness” (David Lisnard, Association of French Mayors)

The same desire is on the side of the association of elected officials France Urbaine, which represents the mayors of big cities and the presidents of the metropolis of France. Its president, Johanna Rolland, is also committed to implementation, especially at European level“Competitive and fiscal equity between physical commerce and digital commerce.”

“By that local physical commerce must be absolutely supported and valued, I call for experimentation with taxation especially for the largest e-commerce warehouses, larger than 40,000 m², ”she said Gallery.

In the meantime, the rules of the game, a commercial code requiring the closure of food stores on Sundays after 1 p.m., may have to be changed. “That’s absurd!” » exclaims Jacques Creyssel. “Opening shops on Sunday afternoons is a reality and meets the needs. Residents of large metropolises make their purchases on Sunday afternoons “, provided by the General Delegate of the Federation of Trade and Distribution.

The shops are unburdened to avoid re-closing, but they want to open on Sundays

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