French law, French tradition and what some perceive as "modern times" are leading to a clash in France over laws mandating that artisan trades—and that includes the bread bakers—must close for at least one day a week. The tradition is old, but the law dates to 1999.
Recent moves toward 7-day-a-week shopping in France have been encouraged by recent "reform" laws initiated by Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron. The laws are intended to remove layers of government control of many aspects of daily life, but have not applied to the bread bakeries.
Bakery owners claim that if they must close for a day they will have to lay off workers and will lose money...although until recently all bakeries were closed for a day, but not on the same day, so there was never a shortage of bread. A number of bakers have been fined, including Stephane Cazeneuve, a former holder of the "Best Baguette in France" award.
Speaking of baguettes: One of the first acts of the Paris Commune in 1971 was to ban night work for bakers, whose lives at that time were very hard, and most work was done at night because of long rising and baking times. The law did not survive the commune.
The baguette was not the most common French bread until the 1920s, although its popularity rose in the late 19th century. Because of its shape, and because it's baked fairly rapidly in a steam oven, it was able to comply with the 1920 law that forbade bakery work between 10 pm and 4 am.