[AFP] Offbeat “Black Friday”, first step towards reopening stores at the end of November

Offbeat “Black Friday”, unconfined traders? The government and professionals on Friday announced a postponement of one week of promotional campaigns “subject to reopening of shops by then”, and all are now waiting for Emmanuel Macron to speak on Tuesday.

“It is the president who will announce the date, our role was to create the most favorable conditions so that the reopening of shops at the end of the week is authorized,” Jacques Creyssel, general delegate of the Federation, told AFP on Friday. trade and distribution (FCD) and participating in the discussions.

“The government clearly told us that it considered that it was not possible, in terms of health, to reopen the stores and at the same time have an important promotional operation” which risked attracting too many consumer flows. , he continued.

Because if the UFC-Que Choisir warned on Friday against “the many scams and false promotions of Black Friday”, this marketing and promotional operation from the United States is experiencing growing enthusiasm every year. The Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) evokes “a phenomenon which has grown, reaching as high as six billion euros in sales, including five in physical stores”.

To allow a reopening from the last weekend of November, ardently desired by traders anxious to be able to sell their stocks as the end of the year holidays approach, supermarkets, small businesses and online commerce have therefore accepted Friday to postpone “Black Friday” by one week.

“This unanimous agreement was reached with a view to allowing an imminent reopening of shops in conditions of maximum health security”, explained the signatories, after a second meeting on these promotions with the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire.

Friday morning, François Momboisse, of the Federation of e-commerce and distance selling (Fevad), had estimated that the arbitration on the subject was the subject of “political battles”. “From the moment the Republicans demanded the reopening on the 27th, the government does not want to reopen the closed businesses on the 27th,” he regretted.

A major player in this big clearance sale, Amazon spoke out on Thursday evening in favor of postponing the operation to December 4. Same date for Fnac-Darty, “in solidarity with this position of consensus”.

– “Reinforced health protocol” –

Prime Minister Jean Castex, however, had made reopening of stores conditional on the adoption of a “reinforced health protocol”, which was also discussed on Friday. Subject to its validation by the health authorities, this protocol should in particular see the maximum reception gauge of a customer for 4m2 of sales area go to one for 8m2 and this, “whatever the size of the business”, according to a participant in the discussions.
It specifies that “for stores of more than 400 m2”, a “reinforcement of the control of the gauge at the entry” is envisaged, “with the obligatory presence of a person who counts the number of customers who enter”.

Other planned measures: the compulsory provision of hydroalcoholic gel at the entrance, marking on the ground for distance when going through the cash register, or periodic ventilation of shops as well as compulsory wearing of a mask.
In addition, “the opening hours should be widened and opening on Sundays would be considered,” according to another source.

Jacques Creyssel also evokes an “opening on Sundays granted where it did not exist”, as well as “the possibility of widening the range of store opening hours, always with this in mind to avoid have too many people “at the same time in the shops.

The practical modalities still seem thorny: “Black Friday” “is an international commercial operation, it is as if we decided to stop the rising tide, in my opinion it is illusory”, François Asselin, president, commented Thursday. of the CPME (small and medium-sized enterprises).
“Our fear, and we call on the Minister to be vigilant, is that there are many international sites and distributors which operate global e-commerce platforms with a French translation”, also worried Fabien Versavau, CEO of Rakuten France, Thursday evening. And to wonder: “Will they shift only their French countryside”.


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