Black Friday pushed by a week in France by Amazon and other major retailers

In order to allow physical retailers to participate safely in the pre-Christmas sale bonanza and potentially reopen a few days earlier than expected, Amazon and other major distributors decided to push Black Friday back a week in France.

After their second lockdown in France on 1 December, just after Black Friday on 27 November, non-essential physical distributors are due to reopen. France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, had previously claimed that he was unwilling to agree to allow shops to reopen in the midst of a major promotional event on 1 December for fear of crowds coming down on shops.

However, Amazon and other major French retailers, including the Galeries Lafayette department store chain, have decided to push the event back to December 4 in the expectation that on November 27 or 28, stores will be able to reopen slightly earlier.

"Frederic Duval, general manager at Amazon France, said in a statement, "Today, like many other French retailers and following the government's advice, we agreed to postpone Black Friday if it requires retailers to reopen before December 1.

What's essential is for our stores to reopen. Nicolas Houze, Chief Executive Officer of Galeries Lafayette for the French business news channel BFM Business, will not disagree with it if this priority comes with a postponement of Black Friday.

On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to address the nation to announce plans to re-open parts of the economy after they were shut down on October 30.

On re-opening on 1 December, small stores were widely expected to be permitted, with florists already given the green light to begin selling Christmas trees from next Friday.

However, due to Black Friday, there was a question mark for larger shops. However, Bruno Le Maire praised Amazon and other major retailers, which include large supermarkets such as Carrefour, for their decision.

It is expected that shops will now be able to re-open, but at any time with strict curbs on the number of shoppers allowed in.

In England, non-essential retail is due to reopen on 3 December with some retailers aiming for a reopening date of 5 December, but the Government has yet to confirm it.

After a two-week firebreak lockdown to curb infections in the country, stores in Wales have reopened, but stores in large parts of Scotland have only closed down again for two weeks, with Northern Ireland also bringing about a two-week shut-down from 27 November.

In France, there was tremendous public and political pressure to cancel Black Friday, with 30,000 people signing a petition to threaten to boycott Amazon if the event went forward and politicians, such as Le Maire, saying that if it went forward as scheduled, reopening could be postponed.

With Black Friday deals already in place across many retailers with online sales projected to hit record levels during the event, no such strain seems to be in evidence in the UK as of yet. According to the latest prediction from the online retail association IMRG, UK retailers are gearing up for a significant spike in online revenues of 35 percent -45 percent during the Black Friday trading season (23-30 November).


Publish : 2020-11-22 12:30:00

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