Recently I have been reading the dire stories about retail holiday sales figures in the US as a further indication of a deep recession. As a result, I was surprised
last Friday after Ruben’s work when we met in Plaça Catalunya to do some shopping.
In the four years that I have been here in Barcelona, I never have seen so many shoppers. We both loathe crowds such as this and were happy that it didn’t take that long to get our shopping chores done. We were surprised that at Fnac there were so many people that were let out of the first floor through an emergency exit rather than descending to the ground level via the usual escalator.
Some notes about Fnac
Fnac (originally Fédération nationale d’achats des cadres), is an international entertainment retail chain offering cultural and consumer electronics products. It is the largest retailer of its kind in France. The company has stores in France, Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Taiwan. Think of it as a chain like Best Buy in the US or Dixons in the UK.
The company's founders were part of France's Young Socialists movement, a left-wing militant group in 1954. Fnac was founded to provide affordable products to the worker. As a result, they remained true to their socialist beliefs. Today, the company prides itself on offering a diverse range of products, impartial advice from their employees, ensuring their products are up to standard by being checked in an independent test center and blacklisting those which do not meet a minimum set of requirements.
Fnac also participates in campaigns against exclusion, racism and censorship.
The company is also committed to defending the diversity of music. So it fits right in with Barcelona’s cultural, social and labor history.