The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, circulated a web based petition titled “Noël Sans Amazon” (“An Amazon-free Christmas”). Addressed to Santa Claus, it commits signatories to a “#ChristmasWithoutAmazon,” which is described as a tax-dodging Grinch that destroys small companies, jobs and the setting in France.
The digital name to arms, nonetheless, shortly fell sufferer to a web based hack that overloaded the web site with faux signatures despatched from over 200 completely different servers, together with tons of within the title of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief government, with the remark “Sorry, not sorry, Jeff.”
The scramble by French politicians to sooth the ire of small companies reopened a broader controversy over Black Friday itself, which wasn’t even an occasion in Europe till a number of years in the past, when it was ushered in primarily by Amazon, which started selling main gross sales in lockstep with these in the US.
Whereas the American Thanksgiving is simply one other Thursday in Europe, Black Friday has thrived. In Britain, Spain and different international locations, Amazon and different massive retailers already began providing Black Friday reductions on-line earlier this month.
France has been slower than different European international locations to affix the development, and politicians have discouraged customers from taking part, warning of “a frenzy of consumption” by which persons are inspired to purchase merchandise they don’t want. The truth that Amazon just isn’t a French firm didn’t assist, both.
But Black Friday has been a vital instrument for retailers to high up gross sales. Final yr, retailers in France raked in an estimated 6 billion euros in income round Black Friday.
These gross sales are extra essential than ever this yr as retailers confronted unprecedented losses from lockdowns linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Although shops reopened from June via September, that was not sufficient to totally compensate for France’s first lockdown: year-to-date gross sales are nonetheless, on common, 10 % under their 2019 ranges, in accordance with an evaluation by the German financial institution Allianz.