What if Amazon no longer had the right to hold Black Friday in France? Four federations of traders demand the ban of this day of sales, denouncing a “scandalous” inequality of treatment between physical shops and the internet in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Business associations are also asking for the reopening of physical stores from November 12.
Four associations of traders (Confederation of traders of France, National Council of shopping centers, French Federation of associations of traders and National Federation of town centers “Vitrines de France”) have just published an open letter in the JDD. They say they want to alert the government “of great danger in which commerce finds itself of France” since the establishment of new containment measures.
“The steps taken to curb the spread of the virus only serve toincrease the scandalous pre-existing inequality of treatment between physical merchants and web merchants, at the risk of the former and for the exclusive benefit of the latter ”, strangle the authors of the letter. “Amazon and Alibaba in the lead, did not expect so much and are now doubling down on propaganda to attract customers, our customers”, they add.
Amazon and its promotions like Black Friday are seen as an injustice by physical stores
A “injustice” which accelerates according to them “the programmed death of our territories and our jobs“ : “you owe it to yourself to end it! “, launch the associations of traders. The four organizations thus offer of them “Chronologically urgent common sense decisions” : first of all reopen stores on November 12 with adapted and specific health protocols. But also put in place restrictions for online commerce until this is the case.
The ban should concretely, according to traders, take the form of an immediate ban on Black Friday 2020, the famous promotion day organized by Amazon. The idea is not new – Amazon itself has been thinking for several weeks about maintaining or canceling Black Friday. In a period of “health war”, you have to know how to establish a “Geneva convention” for competition. This one no longer exists; only the monopoly of ‘pure players’ remains ”, continues the open letter.
And to detail: “Contrary to what some mock, [les commerces en ligne] have in no way discounted or even reduced their outrageous advertising campaigns calling on our fellow citizens to spend at home immediately – before stores in France can reopen – their salaries or other part-work allowances ”.
In the last part of their missive, the traders note that the current situation is the result of a long indifference. Against the backdrop of the rise of online commerce. According to the letter, the law indeed provides for differences in treatment between structures only present on the web and physical businesses.
Its authors thus demand equal treatment in fiscal matters (Tascom, VAT, CVAE, property tax, etc.), regulatory, environmental, land use planning (in particular on warehouse projects which they believe should be limited), social , societal and health.
For Bruno Le Maire, there is no question of typing on Amazon
For his part, the government agrees to “Reopen as soon as possible” stores with new sanitary measures. But there is no question of sanctioning players in online commerce, or even less of specifically disadvantaging Amazon and its Black Friday. Still on the JDD, the Minister of the Economy Bruno le Maire believes that the reopening of shops “will not be able to […] consider that with new health rules “, including a raising of the welcome gauge who is currently “4 square meters per customer”.
Bruno le Maire also mentions the possibility for certain businesses to offer access by appointment. But responsible also believes that targeting Amazon goes too far : “This player represents only 20% of online commerce in France”. Bruno le Maire believes more in aid to allow small businesses to switch to digital. With for example the launch of a directory allowing to reference the sites of small traders clique-mon-commerce.gouv.fr (inaccessible at the time of this writing).
Businesses hit by administrative closure could also “Benefit from an aid of 500 euros” to set up their online sales site.
Also read: Coronavirus – e-commerce booms amid wave of orders
Municipalities could also, according to Bruno the Mayor, set up local e-commerce platforms to bring together all the small traders in their city and allow them to exist in an increasingly dematerialized world. Unfortunately, these measures will necessarily take time to be implemented – even though many structures are weakened in the country.