At one of the busiest department stores in Paris, the Christmas shopping experience has suddenly changed. The day after sticks of dynamite were found in “Printemps” on Boulevard Haussmann, customers’ bags are being checked at the entrance of the giant shop.
Tighter security is something France is going to have to get used to. Hundreds of extra police are being deployed at busy public places in cities such as Paris, Marseille and Lyon. And, as Tuesday’s bomb scare demonstrates, when it comes to the terror threat, the retail sector is in the front line. One shop worker interviewed said she was used to being vigilant, especially as she works on the ground floor of the “Printemps” store. The government announced reinforced security after emergency talks. Despite a warning from a group demanding French troops leave Afghanistan, authorities seem sceptical over whether Islamists were behind Tuesday’s scare.