The Times (9th May 2010) has a curious article about the potential effect of the niqab ban in France on designer shopping:
THE Avenue Montaigne in Paris is a magnet for wealthy shoppers. This summer, though, the Saudi princesses often to be seen browsing in black robes among the Chanel handbags and La Perla lingerie may stay at home — or shop elsewhere.
Under a proposed French law banning women from wearing the burqa in public, they could be fined. Their husbands, often potentates in their home countries, could end up in jail.
“A lot of our customers come from the Gulf, especially Qatar,” said a public relations officer at the exclusive Hôtel Plaza Athénée, a stone’s throw from Chanel. “There is some concern about this law.”
“They’re some of our best customers,” said a shop assistant in Chanel. “It’ll mean a drop in our sales.”
“London will certainly look more appealing,” said Sarah Peters, a retail analyst with Verdict Research. “Luxury retailers will benefit most, especially the big department stores.”