Safe sales increase in France

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As banks fail, more Parisians save their money and valuables at home.

10 October 2008 

PARIS -- Safes are in high demand as French savers worried about the financial crisis keep cash and jewels at home, instead of banks. 

The unrest affecting banks across Europe is profitable for firms like the Solon security shop outside Paris, where manager Nicolas Rebaudengo said sales rose 30 percent since late September. 

"Customers tell us they don't have too much faith in the banks and they expect problems", said Rebaudengo. 

Young wealthy executives, pensioners, middle class couples and lower income workers all visited his shop recently, browsing models that range in price between EUR 500 and 2,000. 

New customers also visited Djamila Menna's BS Protection shop in Paris, where business increased 20 percent in October. 

"Nowadays even the man on the street is coming in to learn about safes because it's not something that he has ever considered", said Menna. 

"He is looking for a way to protect himself". 

At Paris' BHV department store, sales personnel say small safes are a popular item, with many customers purchasing low-cost simple metal boxes with keys or padlocks. 

"Many customers say they have gotten rid of their safety boxes at the bank because they don't know what's going to happen and they would rather protect their valuables themselves", said Philippe, a BHV salesman. 

French insurers however only provide coverage for higher grade models that start off at EUR 500. 

Small safes are also popular at the AR Securite shop in Paris. 

"Customers, mostly men in the 40s, 50s and 60s, buy smaller safes that can hold a maximum of EUR 8,000", said manager Claude Simonnet, adding that the safes are probably used to store jewellery and watches.         

[AFP / Expatica]






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