The Morning Call
France eyes Black Friday delay to aid businesses
PARIS — France’s government was working Friday to get supermarket chains and e-commerce platforms like Amazon to agree to postpone Black Friday promotions, responding to concerns that shops shuttered by the nation’s coronavirus lockdown are hemorrhaging business and could be hurt further if they miss out on the consumer splurge.
With the lockdown starting to bring France’s latest virus surge back under control, the government is facing pressure to allow businesses closed as “non-essential” to reopen. But it is also mindful of the risk of infections speeding up again if restrictions are lifted too soon, too quickly. The approach of Black Friday on Nov. 27 in France, has brought the dilemma to a head.
Postponing Black Friday by a week until real-world stores have reopened would allow them to also profit from consumer spending on cut-price goods ahead of Christmas. France’s economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, said he was hopeful that a deal would be struck in talks Friday afternoon with e-commerce sites, supermarket operators and others involved to push back Black Friday to Dec. 4. Realworld stores are hoping they’ll have emerged from lockdown by then.
Le Maire’s ministry said supermarket operators and e-commerce sites are looking “favorably” at a possible postponement, “in a spirit of responsibility.”