Opening day in the large premises of Emmaus in Ornans (Doubs), a small town near Besançon. Lots of people are in a hurry when the doors open like twice a week.
“I was not there last week, but it seems that there are great deals to be made on shoes and household appliances,” explains Marie-Claude before being swept away by the flow.
This is precisely what the president of the Ornans merchants blames for the management of Emmaus. For André Blanchon, who runs a decoration shop in the city center, “we are in a situation of unfair competition of which small traders are the first victims. Emmaüs is no longer content to sell old objects that are given to it according to the principles of Father Pierre. They now receive pallets of new products given or sold at very low prices by brands that are destocking while tax exempt if they can. “
A stock of brand new shoes
What has angered the boss of the traders is the recent arrival in the premises of ‘ Emm aüs Ornans of a large stock of branded shoes in new condition, sold at 20 euros per pair. “How do you expect our two shoe stores to withstand such competition. I received one of the traders, she was in tears, completely demoralized because she had hardly sold anything in her shop, the day when Emmaus was open. “
The president of the merchants has written a protest letter to the national management of Emmaus where he does not do half-measures, even treating the association of “machine to make cash”.
Marc Bianconi, director of Emmaüs Ornans did not hide his surprise: “It is true that we sell new products. But they represent less than 10% of what is exposed here. Just walk around the aisles. All these sales allowed us to earn more than 100,000 euros last year. These are as many meals, 42,000, as we can serve, and people we can help, ”he says.