High labor cost, price of real estate... When it comes to manufacturing products, a country like France can only compete in high-end industries (nuclear power, planes...) or in niche markets. This building is a very good example of this phenomenon. It's located in the very center of Paris (at rue du Louvre) and it used to belong to a huge post-war industrial group (Boussac-Saint Frères) that went bankrupt in the 70's. Workers used to actually make bâche there (protective coverings) which is today totally unthinkable since the price of this beautiful building is probably worth more than the profit that 50 workers could produce in a 100 years!