Amazon France delays 'Black Friday' sales

Sales at U.S. retail giant Amazon have soared globally as restrictions sent consumers online.

That's made it difficult for bricks-and-mortar shops to compete.

But in France, the online heavyweight has bowed to government pressure to postpone its "Black Friday" discount shopping sales, which was due to run November 27-29.

To level the playing field, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire this week called on supermarkets and online retailers to postpone the event, as shops selling non-essential goods would still be under lockdown.

In Paris there was support from residents:

"I guess it's easier and more convenient to shop online these days, especially we're on lockdown. But I'd like to support local industries as well. I think it's important because they're struggling at the moment and I think it would benefit them anyhow."

"It's always easier to order from home and have the thing arrive at your front door but that means you're forgetting the shop owner who bought premises, who does the best they can to get in good products."

Competition from the online giant first prompted European retailers to adopt the U.S. tradition.

Amazon France Chief Executive Frederic Duval said on Thursday (November 19) the company would push the event back to December 4th.

That puts it in line with European retail market leader Carrefour and other rivals.

Amazon confirmed Duval's comments in an emailed statement, but did not respond to requests for further comment on Friday (November 20).

The coronavirus crisis has triggered scrutiny of the firm's efforts to protect staff.

In France, Amazon faced a lengthy battle over safety measures which led to the temporary closure of warehouses.