Bruno Le Maire 1. Black Friday 0. After long negotiations with players in the trade, the Minister of the Economy announced on Thursday that he was on track to obtain the postponement of the promotional operation of Black Friday. Initially scheduled for November 27, it should be postponed by a week. For the government, “it is absolutely necessary to avoid a massive influx of customers into the stores”, while non-essential businesses may reopen around November 27 to 28, if sanitary conditions allow.
A final meeting, scheduled for this Friday around 3 p.m. in Bercy, must ratify the agreement between traders, mass distribution and e-commerce sites. “The idea of a postponement was well received but as long as there is no deal, nothing is validated, slipped Thursday afternoon, cautious, a close friend of Bruno Le Maire. There are still reservations. »Printed catalogs, promotions contracts already signed, logistics and staff mobilized… For those involved in the trade, the salary and logistics consequences are heavy.
How did Bruno Le Maire manage to advance his pawns, while the heavyweights of commerce and the Medef pleaded for the maintenance of Black Friday? From the beginning of November, the closed businesses denounce an unequal treatment and demand the cancellation of the operation. Bruno Le Maire supports them but has no solution. “It is a private operation over which the state has no control,” deplores Bercy. End of the first act.
“If there is no Black Friday delay, the shops will not reopen”
Last Friday, a meeting was organized in Bercy at the request of small businesses. All the players find common ground: “They accepted the maintenance of Black Friday but demanded the reopening of shops on the same day,” we confided to the minister’s office. But the sanitary conditions to make a promotional offer on the day of the reopening are not met. This is a denial from the government. End of the second act.
Bruno Le Maire returns to the game on Wednesday. In the Senate, he asks the actors to “examine all the possibilities of postponing this operation”. The next day – Thursday morning, therefore – the Minister of the Economy cuts down his trump card with the participants of the meeting: “I cannot guarantee you an early opening of shops, but if there is no delay. Black Friday, they won’t reopen sooner, that’s for sure. “For small traders, the choice is obvious. Large-scale distribution also lets itself be convinced, in particular Carrefour and Leclerc. Because if she wants to take full advantage of Black Friday, she must be able to reopen her shelves of non-essential products by then.
It remains to bend the digital giants, Amazon in the lead, who take the opportunity to achieve the perfect heist on Christmas shopping. Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, Bruno Le Maire telephones Frédéric Duval, the Managing Director of Amazon France. At the end of the line, the boss lists his constraints: global promotional offers already dealées, advertisements launched, difficulties of routing if the date is postponed… “But ultimately, the tone was positive, we assure the minister’s office. If Frédéric Duval was against the postponement of Black Friday, he would have said so. “
The epilogue of these long negotiations finally took place this Thursday evening, during the television news of TF1, where the general manager of Amazon France announces that the American giant postpones the date of its Black Friday in France. This “will take place this year on December 4,” specifies Frédéric Duval. “Today, like other large French distributors and taking into account the government’s recommendation,” he adds, “we have decided to postpone Black Friday if this allows businesses to reopen before December 1. The approximately 200,000 non-essential businesses currently closed are only waiting for this green light to try to save their business.