In: Lois-González R.C. (eds) Geographies of Mediterranean Europe. Springer Geography. Springer, Cham.
The aim of the chapter is to show the development of the geography of retailing in France since 1975 until today, that is, since the creation of the geography’s Commission of retailing by Jacqueline Beaujeu-Garnier within the French National Committee of Geography. Almost a non-entity in Vidalian-inspired geography, of the emergence of retail and trade as a subject study in academia, must first be presented in connection with the socio-economic transformations of French society. Indeed, France was becoming an urban society, and commerce was its main factor: the eyes could not miss it. Second, we will follow the transformation of the geography of retailing considering the cultural turn, which has encouraged an opening to new subjects, new issues, and allowing new researches in many subfields of geography. The study of retail in geography benefited from the cultural turn, in contributing to overcome a recurring opposition between culture and retail in geographical approaches. This situation has a singular ring in France, where sociologists like Bourdieu and Baudrillard have written a sociology of consumption that denounces the commercialization of culture through consumption. Finally, since the beginning of the twenty-first century, we will try to show that the geography of retailing in France has managed to treat new subjects linking commerce, culture, and society, and is today expanding into the geography of retailing and consumption.