According to Reuters, Amazon France agrees to delay ‘Black Friday’ operations to Dec. 4.
PARIS (Reuters) – Amazon said Thursday it would delay its “Black Friday” discount sales in France until December 4, and is joining other retailers to postpone the event amid a nationwide lockdown scheduled to December 1. .
“Today we decided to postpone the Black Friday date if it could help retailers reopen to December 1. This year, Black Friday will be on December 4,” Amazon France Chief Executive Frederic Duval told TF1 television .
The Treasury Department said earlier on Thursday that supermarkets and online retailers in France are open to the idea of delaying “Black Friday” discount sales by a week at the end of November.
Amazon, which has seen sales soar under lockdown, is now joining French Carrefour, Europe’s largest retailer, and French retailer Leclerc to agree to the delay.
Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Wednesday called on supermarkets and online retailers to postpone Black Friday, which runs from November 27 to November 29, because stores selling non-essential goods must remain closed during the lockdown.
Duval had said earlier this week that late November was a very important time for Christmas shopping and that it would be perfect if stores selling non-essential items reopened on November 27.
Le Maire will meet with retailers Friday at 2:00 PM GMT to finalize a possible agreement on a Black Friday delay.
France entered a second national lockdown on October 30, and President Emmanuel Macron has said it would take at least four weeks. Curbs include the closure of non-essential shops, restaurants and bars.
But with recent data showing that France is on track to contain a wave of coronavirus infections, the government is under pressure from shops and businesses to ease restrictions in time for the crucial Christmas shopping season.
Smaller stores struggle to compete with major retailers and online giants like Amazon, who are allowed to operate and deliver goods during the lockdown.
The Treasury Department said in a statement Thursday that a week’s delay in Black Friday sales would help “ensure that stores in France reopen under maximum security conditions.”
A Carrefour spokeswoman said Chief Executive Alexandre Bompard spoke with Le Maire by phone Thursday and agreed to suspend the Black Friday operation on Nov. 27-29.
Leclerc, Carrefour’s biggest local rival, also said it was ready to postpone its Black Friday event.
Casino, owner of CDiscount, which has the second largest share of the French e-commerce market after Amazon, had no direct comments.
Macron will speak to the nation next week about the pandemic and restrictions in the country.
Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Gwenaelle Barzic; Written by Matthieu Protard; Edited by Jan Harvey, Kirsten Donovan, David Clarke and Tom Brown
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