Amazon France Agrees to Postpone Black Friday Sales By A Week

PARIS — Black Friday in December? Amazon in France has postponed the annual sales bonanza for a week, responding to pressure from retailers in the country who are struggling for survival under the current lockdown measures here.

“We are acting responsibly,” Frédéric Duval, who heads Amazon’s French operations, said in an interview on France Info radio on Friday.

“We are mindful of the social context and so we want to do what’s right,” added Duval. The executive specified that the postponement only applies to the French version of the company’s web site, and noted that the company accounts for around one percent of retail sales in France.

Amazon has become a lightning rod for the frustration of smaller retailers, which has risen sharply amid the latest round of lockdown measures. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said earlier this month that scapegoating the e-commerce giant was not a solution to retail woes in the country, noting that the majority of online business in France was generated by French companies.

Le Maire is holding a meeting with retailers Friday afternoon to discuss conditions for postponing Black Friday sales, a measure that has also won the backing of hypermarket giants Carrefour and Leclerc. “Our common objective is to guarantee retail activity over the long term under the strictest sanitary conditions,” the finance minister said.

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