Bear in mind that the #1 extension in Germany is .de, Germans expect to see a .de on a retail shopping site.
Are you actually a registered business in France? If not you will need an intermediary for contacts etc. I believe.
This question has arisen several times over the years in the Google search forum, in fact only last week there was the same discussion with the company having specific targetting problems:
I do not do retail, only international supply, and over the past 16 years or so have developed each country under its own specific extension and linked them all together through the navigation so that users can slide easily between one supply and another.
An example I often cite is to check out is the www .eu site of black and decker and see what they do. Ok, it is a big company with Europewide distribution however they decided to go local for every country except for Baltic for whatever reason.
Right my personal feelings?
Geo-targetting still seems to be the holy grail at the moment therefore using local extensions must make it easier for the SEs to target where your intended market is.
Just another thought if the worst came to the worst, it is much easier to close down a specific site rather than a section of a site.