French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the country's "Yellow Vest" protests were a serious blow to the nation's companies and economy and retailers are forecasting substantial losses.
"It's a catastrophe for business," Le Maire said, while visiting shops in Paris a day after the latest destructive protests. "It's a catastrophe for our economy."
In Paris, many retailers boarded their windows at the weekend in anticipation of protests which focused on the Champs-Elysee and surrounding avenues, as well as busy shopping districts in the Opera district.
Iconic department stores like the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps were closed on a December weekend day that would typically be a peak for holiday shopping.
Retailers have lost sales totalling at least 1 billion euros due to the protests, according to a spokesman of the French retailers association FCD.
In addition to marches in city centres, protesters blocked the entrance to suburban shopping complexes for four consecutive Saturdays, prompting retailers including Carrefour, Casino Guichard-Perrachon and Fnac Darty to close some big-box stores and high street locations.
Tourist operators also say they've taken a hit.
As images of destructive clashes in Paris were broadcast worldwide last weekend, tourist reservations to the city fell 40 to 50 per cent compared with the previous year, the president of France's Synhorcat hoteliers' union Marcel Benezet told Le Parisien.
Paris museums may also see their budgets pinched after they closed access to the season's major exhibitions on artists including Picasso, Caravaggio and Basquiat.
During the latest round of protests yesterday NZT, demonstrators in Paris tried to erect barricades, using urban furniture and paving stones, and defying police. Rioters looted a golf supply store, making off with clubs they used to smash the windows of bank branches.
Police arrested 1700 people nationwide and held 1200 in custody after containing several late night skirmishes.
About 179 people were hurt as extreme-right, extreme-left and anarchist groups defied riot forces in Paris, according to the police prefecture.
In Paris, at least 920 people were arrested, with as many as 620 in custody.