Amazon Postpones Black Friday Sales In France

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Amazon has agreed to postpone its Black Friday sales in France if officials will allow the reopening of non-essential businesses by Nov. 27, Bloomberg reported.

Other retailers, such as Galeries Lafayette and Showroomprive, also agreed to the delay, which pushes the sales holiday back a week to Dec. 4.

“Today, as many other French retailers and following the government’s recommendation, we decided to postpone Black Friday if this enables retailers to reopen before Dec. 1,” Frederic Duval, general manager at Amazon France, said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

This comes after Amazon pulled its Black Friday ads in the country, following backlash that it was being “unfair” to smaller retailers.

“[It’s] not at all appropriate at a time when 200,000 businesses will have to shut their doors,” Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runchaer said on Europe 1 radio, according to Reuters.

France’s lockdown, which began Oct. 30, is currently expected to lift on Dec. 1. The lockdown was enacted to counter the surge in coronavirus cases as Europe is hit with a second wave of the pandemic, but its economic toll is daunting.

Retailers, battered by the economic ripple effects of the pandemic, have been lobbying to reopen their physical stores before Black Friday. Black Friday sales brought in 6 billion euros in revenue last year, Bloomberg reported, citing the Finance Ministry.

“We decided not to do Black Friday,” said Thierry Petit, co-founder of Showroomprive, according to Bloomberg. “But this is an important event for consumption. It kicks off the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. The French need purchasing power.”

But officials are concerned that the shopping event could lead to crowds that could further exacerbate the ongoing health crisis.

And the health of the economy?

“What’s important is that we reopen our stores. If this priority comes with a postponement of Black Friday, we won’t argue with it,” Nicolas Houze, chief executive officer of Galeries Lafayette, told BFM Business, according to Bloomberg.

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