Last October, Ski Republic, a French-owned chain, promised a "new dawn for ski lovers" at a high-profile launch in London, in which Danielle Lloyd, a former Miss England, posed in a bikini with skis and boots.
But its aggressive marketing tactics and offer of two pairs of skis for the price of one for online bookings received more than just a frosty reception when it opened 23 shops in the Alps for this season.
Within weeks, furious locals had tried to set fire to one store in Sainte-Foye-Tarentaise, broken the front windows of three more in Tignes, Val d\’Isère and Menuires and threatened several managers and the company boss.
In one night, five of Ski Republic\’s vehicles had their tyres slashed and plastic roof covers punctured, while several shop had glue poured into their front door locks.
Richard Chin from Blairgowrie, Perthshire, the manager of the shop that suffered an arson attack, said he was warned by a neighbouring ski shop that something would happen to Ski Republic and he "shouldn\’t be around when it does".
While there\’s obviously a difference in law there\’s no difference in intent between this and lobbying for tariff barriers. Both are an attempt to protect the producers\’ profits at the expense of the pocketbooks of the consumers.