behind the scenes of Amazon’s renunciation of Black Friday

“Today, like other distributors in France, by listening to the government’s recommendations, we have decided to postpone the date of the Black Friday if this allows businesses and physical stores to reopen before the 1stis December “, declared solemnly, Thursday, November 19, Frédéric Duval, general manager of Amazon France, guest of the 8 pm newspaper on TF1. Adding that “This year, ‘Black Friday’ will take place on December 4”. With this announcement, the American e-commerce giant unlocks a first step in the process of reopening non-food businesses.

For several days, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, has been suggesting to the actors that it was not reasonable to maintain this promotional operation on November 27 while the government must decide in the coming days on the date of reopening. so-called shops “Non-essential”. He repeated it again in the Senate on Wednesday, asking them to“Examine all the possibilities of postponing this operation which does not make sense in the current circumstances”.


The signs, for their part, begged Matignon to be able to reopen on November 27, failing which only the Internet players would carve out the lion’s share. The event generated 6 billion euros in turnover in 2019, including 5 billion in physical stores, according to Bercy.

Aware that the government does not have the capacity to prohibit “A private promotional operation”, Bruno Le Maire and the Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Alain Griset had convened, Thursday morning, the representative organizations of large-scale distribution, cooperative and associated trade, online sales, but also a dozen large brands to convince them to postpone the organization of a major good business fair synonymous with social interactions.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Commerce: lack of reopening in time for “Black Friday”, Bruno Le Maire proposes to “shift” it

In videoconference, facing the ministers, are thus the bosses of the most famous companies – Enrique Martinez, the CEO of Fnac-Darty, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, CEO of the eponymous group … but also Amazon, which had sent its director of the strategy and public affairs, Yohann Bénard, familiar with ministerial language since joining Christine Lagarde’s cabinet when she was Minister of the Economy.

By interposed screen, Mr. Le Maire then explains the compromise to them: “A postponement of Black Friday until December 4 in exchange for the reopening of all shops on Saturday November 28 », says a participant. “He told us that on the 27th, it wasn’t even worth discussing it and that he wanted everyone to go in this direction”, explains another. Because in the afternoon, Mr. Le Maire was to see Prime Minister Jean Castex, then the next morning the President of the Republic. And it was better to have arguments on hand to ensure that there wouldn’t be a rush in the stores if they opened quickly.

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