- Author : Elodie Tinel
- Master : 2765
INDUSTRIAL AREAS AND HOME IMPROVEMENTS: BEHIND THE SCENES AT A DIY AND DECORATING GIANT | M6 | Zone Interdite
The Mantes la Jolie shopping centre is one of the biggest in the country: 15,000 m2 entirely devoted to DIY and decorating, the latest craze for the French. Nearly 800,000 customers flock here every year. It’s mainly in Spring and Summer that the centre is fullest: 46 million Euros turnover in 6 months.
In order to keep this gigantic machine running 7/7, more than 200 men and women work around the clock. Among them, Angela, queen of decorating. Curtains, drapes, wallpaper or tricks for hanging without drilling, Angela bends over double to find the answer you need. Passionate about her work, she has to divide her time between her professional life and her family. Not always an easy experience for her loved ones.
In the carpentry department, Antoni, 28, is not satisfied with merely running it to produce the turnover that management demands. He’s also set himself an enormous challenge: with his own hands, he plans to build a wooden house for himself and his family. And he can’t dawdle: his wife will soon be giving birth to twins!
Emmanuel, 48, and Sophie, 49, are the stores most determined clients! They’ve just left Paris to live in the country. Their challenge: to completely renovate a house they bought on an impulse. The heavy work has been done by professionals, but they still have to lay the living room floor, erect a panel wall, entirely redo the kitchen and bathroom. Sophie is a speech therapist and Emmanuel a computer engineer, not exactly manual trades, so they have had to apply themselves to serious DIY! For the moment their dream of a little corner of Eden in the country seems a remote one and their living conditions are Spartan!
For over 6 months we experienced the hectic daily life of one of France’s biggest DIY stores and the colourful lives of their customers.