Parisian Retail Stalwart Tati Bites the Dust

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit France, a succession of well-known clothing retailers have shut down or collapsed into bankruptcy. But none of these closures has hit home as hard as the demise of Tati, a discount emporium that has stood at the heart of the gritty neighbourhood of Barbès in northern Paris since 1948, the Financial Times reported. A giant blue and pink sign on the outside of the sprawling store announces the promise of its founder Jules Ouaki, a Jewish transplant from Tunisia, to always offer the lowest prices — “Tati, les plus bas prix”. As Ouaki’s ambitions expanded, he negotiated with Corsican mafiosi who controlled the area’s prostitution and drug trade, buying up neighbouring buildings and converting them to a more respectable use. His efforts to clean up the area were rewarded by the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest honour, in 1976. Read more