Street’s words, which include advice to businessmen with investments in the country to "get them out quickly", came as John Lewis prepares the launch of a French-language version of its e-commerce website.
He was speaking earlier this week in London to an audience of entrepreneurs at a competition for start-ups run by John Lewis, having just visited Paris for the World Retail Congress.
He said: "I have never been to a country more ill at ease… nothing works and worse, nobody cares about it.
"You get on Eurostar from something I can only describe as the squalor pit of Europe, Gare du Nord, and you get off at a modern, forward-looking station [St Pancras]."
John Lewis told PRWeek it did not have a transcript of Street's comments.