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How convenient — Paris

France, a country often asleep at the wheel when it comes to retail innovation, is burning rubber with Chez Jean, a food’n’news concept that launched early this year. A joint venture between two French mega-chains, Casino (supermarkets) and Relay (news kiosks), Chez Jean is nonetheless a café, sassy superette and international newsstand rolled into one.

“The idea was to create a convenience store Française, not an American-style 7/11,” explains Frédérick Renault at Relay France. That means fresh food, quality reads, sundries and booze in a well-designed space.

Open 07.00-23.00, 365 days a year, night owls stock up on fresh flowers and champagne while early birds fly in for deals such as a coffee and daily newspaper for €2. It’s got free amenities such as wi-fi, mobile phone recharging, loos, a fountain to wash fruit, battery ­recycling and indoor cash withdrawal.

Six new Chez Jeans are planned for Paris by the end of 2009 before the concept goes ­nationwide. Can’t wait? They have massive franchise plans.

Chez Jean - 13 Avenue de la République, Paris

Newspapers: Le Parisien, Le Monde, Libération, Le Journal du Dimanche, Le Figaro
Magazines: Elle, Public, Voici, Glamour
Paperbacks: La crise, et après? by Jacques Attali; Confessions d’une religieuse by Soeur Emmanuelle

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