The night opening of the shops in the city center starts this afternoon and will continue every Friday in the summer. Most merchants will participate, but deplore the lack of entertainment, point to a disjointed organization and lack of communication.
A few hours before the start of the traditional night shopping in the streets of Aiacciu, the merchants of the fesch street and its environment have no illusions. Mona has just opened her shop and her jewelry workshop, rue de l’Assomption. She promises to play the shopping game at the beginning of the season, but she is waiting to see how many visitors the event will attract. “Last year, I had a pop-up store in the Napoleon CourseI only participated in late night shopping once because it didn’t work out. If there is no one this season, I plan to close on Friday nights”explains the young woman. Some stores plan to concentrate their opening period, such as Mood, run by Clémence, which announces her presence from the second night of shopping, Friday July 15, until the sale.
He regrets not having received any information from the town hall: “We didn’t even have a program! We did not receive any poster of the event”, he laments. Rare exception in Dune, where his manager received the poster, distributed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), two days before the first purchase. But most of the shops on rue Fesch are unaware of the course of the event. For this 2022 edition, the Aiacciu city council has decided not to apply any regulations regarding the opening and closing hours of merchants. A novelty that escapes almost all stores. “We did not know that there were no schedules… but already last year each one opened as they wanted”Julie laments behind the counter of the Casa Napoléon delicatessen.
A “sad and gloomy” atmosphere
However, late night shopping is a great time for sandwiches and other ice cream. Like Cédric and the sellers of him. They will remain open even on Saturday nights until midnight. “When leaving the restaurants, vacationers prefer an ice cream to entering the shops, so other shopkeepers are discouraged”, testifies. The owner of Caffe’ Vergano believes that the municipality should organize more activities to attract visitors. “High street businesses could then play the game for at least six weeks”. In previous editions, stilts or Brazilian dancers animated the night shopping area, recalls Clémence from the Mood boutique. “Now it’s sad and creepy!”trusts the manager of the jewelry boutique at the Fesch and Spa hotel. “Before, it was full!”, laments Valérie, pointing to the entire street. An opinion shared by one of her clients, Marie-Dominique, who saw “the environment deteriorates”. Some merchants expect the summer season to kick off in full force this weekend and hope to attract vacationers and tourists from the city.
A series of activities guaranteed by the town hall
For its part, the Aiacciu town hall promises the arrival of musical groups and artists in various places on rue Fesch, from 7 to 10:30 p.m. throughout the summer. A merry-go-round and a duck-fishing activity for children, as well as a craft market, will be installed in Plaça Foch. Regarding the lack of information raised by the majority of the merchants, Michèle Caprioli, responsible for the event together with the CCI and the federation of merchants’ associations of the center of Ajaccio (FACCA), affirms that she has not received complaints about the entertainment schedule or communication methods. “The event program has normally been distributed to traders for three days by an ICC agent”she says.
But he recognizes that it is difficult to achieve unity in the schedules. “Each merchant is independent, they are free to choose their own opening and closing hours”explains Michele Caprioli. This freedom is added to the late participation of some businesses in night shopping. Some only offer night shifts starting on the second Friday. A lack of unity that can impact the organization of the event.