I went to a presentation this morning from the main French retailer, it is very similar to Wal Mart.
What is most interesting is they agree that they cannot compete with Wal Mart due to wages. In France they pay huge wages to their retail employees, they are less driven by profit.
The French government pays for all helthcare, they ensure the empolyees have a government protected pension plan, and free education.
An entry level worker in the French store I was visiting this morning makes 16,500 Euros, about 20,000 US dollars... They work only 35 hours per week, they get FIVE weeks of vacation a year PLUS 6 additional personal days. They can earn bonuses of an additional 1.5 months of vacation...