The "Black Friday", a day of promotions imported from the United States a few years ago, has entered the French commercial habits, despite growing criticism that accuse him of pushing for overconsumption.
"For three years, it has become an appointment for our customers," says AFP Nicolas Denime, sales director France online sales site Rakuten, "we began to prepare it six months ago" .
"We do not really doubt that it will still be a big success this year," predicts Vincent Gufflet, commercial director of Fnac Darty.
On the internet alone, sales are expected to reach 1.7 billion euros over the four days from "Black Friday" (Friday 29 November) to "Cyber Monday" (the following Monday, more focused on online promotions) , said Thursday the Federation of e-commerce and distance selling (Fevad).
Of all the distribution channels, nearly 6 billion euros should be spent this weekend, according to a study by RingCentral, a company specializing in customer relations.
- "Awakening consumer awareness" -
More and more voices rise to criticize this day of massive promotions as "symbol of hyper-consumption".
The anti-globalization organization Attac threatens, for example, to "disrupt the activity of Amazon" on November 29 in order to fight against the "bad grip" of the US retail giant. "We chose the + Black Friday + precisely because it is a strategic day for the firm," said Raphael Pradeau, spokesman for the organization, AFP.
The Emmaus association takes the opportunity to "awaken the conscience of consumers", according to Maud Sarda, its director: Wednesday, the team of its online sales site walked a porter in front of the windows of the trendy boutiques of the street Francs-Bourgeois in the Marais district in Paris, to encourage consumers to turn to "recycled and solidarity" items.
And a collective called "Make Friday Green Again", launched in October by the French brand of eco-responsible shoes Faguo, brought together more than 500 brands, mostly French, who will refrain from promotions on November 29 "to put worth more responsible consumption by inviting our communities to repair, give and resell the products they do not use, "says AFP Nicolas Rohr, the co-founder of Faguo.
Among the brands adhering to this movement, there are large brands such as Nature and Discoveries, which belongs to ... Fnac Darty.
"The Fnac group is perfectly aware of our approach," says AFP Fanny Auger, brand director at Nature et Découvertes, referring to "two beautiful brands that have different commercial policies."
Cédric Chéreau, distribution expert and co-founder of the start-up UntieNots, rather qualifies this double talk as a "commercial strategy".
"The companies specializing in sustainability and ethics have an interest in registering against Black Friday, it's all in their honor, but it's also communication," he told AFP.
The passers-by of the rue des Francs-Bourgeois share the analysis of the expert. "Black Friday, Green Friday ... The goal is to buy us," says AFP Myriam, a resident of the neighborhood.
"I try to have a more ethical consumption, but I know that I will crack on beautiful pieces during Black Friday," said Vincent, a young man with a neat style who was just shopping in the neighborhood.
"Consumers have more and more great principles, great ideas, but when it is necessary to put them into practice, it is more complicated," analyzes his side Cédric Chéreau, who hopes however that "in 10 years, consumers will put their purchasing acts in accordance with their speech ".
In the meantime, on November 29, the online sales site Rakuten expects "2.5 times more sales than in 2018 and it was already a day 11 times higher than normal," enthuses Nicolas Denime.
© 2019 AFP