A recent import from the US, spurred by retail giant Amazon, Black Friday has been postponed by the French government. Although the rest of the world doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the sale that follows this American holiday, has spread across the UK, Europe and other countries.
Small retailers worldwide, especially in France, are angry with Amazon’s tight grip and soaring revenues through online sales with huge discounts while they pay taxes and have to remain shutdown due to the spread of COVID-19.
The government has announced the delay of Black Friday and holiday discounts to December 4, 2020 to give small retailers of non essential goods a level playing field.
“Let us open or we will die,” Yohann Petiot, the director general of France’s Alliance du Commerce, told government officials.
Stores “will be able to open as soon as health indicators improve,” Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Friday.
The Mayor of Paris Ann Hidalgo, trade activists and environmentalists circulated an online petition “Noel Sans Amazon” ( Christmas Without Amazon). Addressed to Santa Claus it describes Amazon as a tax dodging Grinch who destroys jobs, small businesses and the environment.
It remains to be seen if pushing back online sales will have an effect on small time retailers though it will give them some time to set up websites and online sales options. The pandemic has been a windfall for giant retailers including Amazon and Walmart while sweeping away small retailers.
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