Who Postpones Black Friday? This Year, the French

But rapid growth has turned Amazon into a symbol of a dominant multinational that detractors say is importing unwanted American-style con...


But rapid growth has turned Amazon into a symbol of a dominant multinational that detractors say is importing unwanted American-style consumerism, as well as job instability and environmental degradation, to the eurozone’s second-largest economy.

In the lead-up to the announcement, Mr. Le Maire and other politicians urged shoppers not to give Amazon their business.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and environmental organizations and trade groups, circulated an online 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 businesses, jobs and the environment.

The virtual call to arms, however, quickly fell victim to an online hack that overloaded the website with fake signatures sent from over 200 different servers, including hundreds in the name of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, with the comment “Sorry, not sorry, Jeff.”

But Amazon’s influence in France — it holds around 20 percent of the French e-commerce market — is such that other big retailers held back from agreeing to postpone their Black Friday sales until Amazon did.

After Mr. Le Maire told the French Senate Wednesday that it made sense to help small retailers by postponing Black Friday, Frédéric Duval, general manager of Amazon France, told a French radio station on Thursday that Amazon was “listening to the recommendations of the government” and would put off its online sales until Dec. 4, paving the way for a broad accord.

Still, the scramble by French politicians to soothe the ire of small businesses has reopened a broader controversy over Black Friday itself, which wasn’t even an event in Europe until a few years ago. It was ushered in mainly by Amazon, which began promoting major sales in lock step with those in the United States.

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Newsrust: Who Postpones Black Friday? This Year, the French
Who Postpones Black Friday? This Year, the French
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