December 5th – Alain Grissé, the French Ministerial Representative for Small and Medium Enterprises, announced on the 4th that the Winter Discount (Solds), which was originally scheduled to start on January 6, 2021, will be postponed to January 20th, as the Black Friday promotion is postponed to December 4th. Four weeks.
According to the Parisian, during the epidemic blockade imposed by France this spring, non-essential stores were forced to close for seven weeks. During the reopening of the blockade, it was forced to close again from October 30 to November 7.
Therefore, the French Chamber of Commerce (CCF) and the French Metropolitan Retailers and Crafts Association (CAMF) have requested that the 2021 discount season be postponed in order to maintain profit margins rather than prematurely reducing prices.
The government’s decision to postpone the discount season was welcomed by small businesses, and Benetticote Boude-Coric, general representative of the French Chamber of Commerce, said, “because of this decision, we will be able to sell for another few weeks at normal prices, and profit margins are crucial to us.”
But large French merchants condemned this decision. Large merchants have more room between purchase and price and are more able to keep profits during the discount season. On the 4th, seven business associations regretted the postponement of the discount season, citing the need to deal with inventory quickly. They worry that after being forced to close in November this year without any turnover, if cash flow problems occur in early January 2021, delaying the discount season may have serious economic and social consequences.
Emmanuel LeRoche, the general representative of the French Procos, which has 300 institutions and 650,000 employees, warned that if sales in December are as bleak as last year, the top priority in January 2021 will be to reduce inventory. Jorhan Petitault, director-general of the French National Trade Union, also believes that discount season sales are necessary activities to pay suppliers and buy new collections.
French Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maier explained on the 4th that the purpose of the postponement of the discount season is to “give small businesses with lower profit margins some breathing room” and let them reduce inventory without reducing prices. Alain Grissé also reiterated his call for the French to support small businesses, “I think this support must be reflected in the buying behavior.”