France Postpones Black Friday
Spurred by small retailers anger over Amazons grip on sales, especially during lockdown, France has delayed the start of holiday discounts.
France Postpones Black Friday – The New York Times
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Who Postpones Black Friday? This Year, the French
Spurred by small retailers’ anger over Amazon’s grip on sales, especially during lockdown, France has delayed the start of holiday discounts.
A jewelry store in Paris in August. Small retailers have complained that they are losing business to Amazon while they are shuttered during lockdown. Credit…Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
Published Nov. 20, 2020Updated Nov. 22, 2020, 8:41 a.m. ET
PARIS — The French government on Friday declared it was postponing Black Friday, as it moved to quell a nationwide rebellion by shopkeepers who say that Amazon has been stealing business from them during France’s coronavirus lockdown.
Black Friday, the U.S. import that has been embraced by European retailers as the quasi-official kickoff to the Christmas shopping season, will be delayed by a week in France, to Dec. 4, after the government wrested an agreement from Amazon and the country’s biggest retailers to delay their discounts.
The move is intended to level the playing field for booksellers, clothing shops and “nonessential” businesses that were forced to close their doors on Oct. 30 after a second national lockdown was imposed, propelling consumers to online sites, including Amazon.
Under the accord, big retailers agreed to put off their Black Friday sales promotions on the condition that the government reauthorizes the reopening of small retailers by then. Shopkeepers have orders took effect to be able to restart business.
and , to the eurozone’s second-largest economy.
In the lead-up to the announcement, Mr. Le Maire and other politicians urged shoppers not to give Amazon their business.
titled “Noël Sans Amazon” (“An Amazon-free Christmas”). Addressed to Santa Claus, it commits signatories to a “#ChristmasWithoutAmazon,” which is described as a tax-dodging Grinch that destroys small businesses, jobs and the environment.
The virtual call to arms, however, quickly fell victim to an online hack that overloaded the website with fake signatures sent from over 200 different servers, including hundreds in the name of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, with the comment “Sorry, not sorry, Jeff.”
But Amazon’s continuing influence in France — in the third quarter it held more than 20 percent of the French e-commerce market, the biggest share of any online seller, according to Kanter Group — is such that other big retailers held back from agreeing to postpone their Black Friday sales until Amazon did.
After Mr. Le Maire told the French Senate Wednesday that it made sense to help small retailers by postponing Black Friday, Frédéric Duval, general manager of Amazon France, told a French radio station on Thursday that Amazon was “listening to the recommendations of the government” and would put off its online sales until Dec. 4, paving the way for a broad accord.
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