With more than $7 billion in sales past year, Black Friday has become a major event in France and a good deal for customers ahead of Christmas.
Eager to keep shoppers from crowding stores to swoop on potential discounts, the finance ministry said on Thursday that a one-week delay in Black Friday sales would help ensure shops reopen in France under maximum safety conditions.
To level the playing field, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire this week called on supermarkets and online retailers to postpone Black Friday, which runs from November 27 to November 29, as shops selling non-essential goods would have to remain closed during lockdown. "Earlyblackfriday.com found consistently, year after year, the shopping on the week of Thanksgiving is really the best time to get these deals".
France is now in the midst of its second lockdown, which was originally planned to end on December 1, long past the online retail holiday that globally starts on November 27 and accounts for a major portion of Christmas spending.
FILE - The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, March 19, 2020.
Amazon France Chief Executive Frederic Duval said on Thursday the company would push the event back to December 4, joining other retailers such as European market leader Carrefour and France's Leclerc.
The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, environmental organizations and business groups, distributed Online petition Titled "Noel Bla Amazon" ("Free Amazon Birthday").
Facing huge backlash in France for increasing its sales by between 40% and 50% while small businesses remain closed, Amazon said it would postpone its sales event for a week. Curbs include the closure of non-essential stores, restaurants and bars.
"That's all very well for them [Amazon] but it's not fair".
"Take us. Even though we're open, we're not allowed to sell three-quarters of our stock, so it doesn't make any sense".
"That's the company we are". For now, this is what the company sent over to us to share with you. It was mainly launched by Amazon, which started promoting major sales in a steady move with those in the United States. French supermarket chains Carrefour and E.Leclerc have made similar concessions.