Grocery Threatened With Closure for Not Selling Alcohol, Pork

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Muslim shop owner told to start stocking alcohol and pork or risk closure
Grocery store wine department

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A French general store has been threatened with closure for not "serving the community" by selling pork products or alcohol. 

A general store in France is under fire for not being “general” enough, because the owner has opted not to sell alcohol or pork in the establishment. Now the landlord and the shopkeeper are fighting over whether or not it is OK for a shop selling general items and grocery supplies to skip alcohol and pork in France.

According to The Local, the Good Price shop is in a suburb of Paris, and it is a small general store that does not stock alcohol or pork products. The shopkeeper says he has opted not to sell alcohol because of security issues regarding the price and inebriated clientele, and that he did not stock pork because he took “a lot of losses in the deli department.”

The shop location is owned by a local housing authority, whose representative says the shop is not meeting the needs of the community by not selling alcohol or pork. That representative, Olivier Virolle, says elderly local residents face an unnecessary hardship by having to travel a kilometer to get to the next closest market selling pork and wine. Virolle has accused the shop owner of basically running an exclusively Muslim community shop, and not a general grocery. As far as Virolle is concerned, that violates the contract and is grounds to get the shop and its owner out of there and install someone else.

"It's a communalist supermarket not just because of what's not there, but also what is there, namely prayer mats and 95 percent of the meat being Halal," Virolle said.

The lease contract is for a “general food store and related activities,” and the shopkeeper maintains the prayer mats are "related activities" and that the grocery is fulfilling the terms of the contract. Virolle and the shopkeeper are set to go to court to figure out whether the store is currently meeting those requirements, or if Virolle can boot the establishment from the premises and move in an operation that sells wine and bacon.

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