Costco fights Quebec’s language requirement

December 4, 2012

By Staff

Issaquah-based Costco and other major retailers have challenged the Quebec government in court over the Canadian province’s strict language laws.

The laws require retailers to post signs and serve customers in French, the predominant language in Quebec. The province’s French language office called for retailers to add French phrases or slogans to signs, or face fines and legal action.

The plaintiffs’ suit, filed in October, asked the Quebec Superior Court to assess the French language office’s policy change.

In addition to Costco, other challengers include Best Buy, Gap, Guess, Old Navy and Walmart.

Some companies, notably KFC and Staples, translated store names in order to operate in Quebec. KFC is Poulet Frit Kentucky and Staples is Bureau en Gros.

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