French government economic think tank leader Jacques Attali is suggesting that France lift 30-year-old retail planning controls and revoke laws banning below-cost selling.

Attali's team is recommending that President Nicolas Sarkozy draw a line under regulations outlawing below-cost selling, introduced in 1997 by Business Minister Yves Galland, which the commission believes would result in a drop of between 2% and 4% in retail prices, while creating up to 1m retail and foodservice jobs.

Today's proposals represent a boon to multiple retailers. Earlier last year, the law was ammended to include year-end discounting as part of the below-cost selling calculation. The intention was to protect SMEs, which make up around 85% of the French food industry.

Earlier this year, President Sarkozy asked the 40-strong team of academics and experts to make recommendations to change the face of the French retail economy, with the aim of improving market efficiency.