The Morning Call

France eyes Black Fri­day de­lay to aid busi­nesses

- Shopping · Black Friday & Cyber Monday · France · Paris · Amazon · Bruno Le Maire

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.”

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