No advanced winter sales. According to franceinfo, the winter sales will start well, as planned, on January 9, 2019. The Ministry of the Economy and Finance indicated on Thursday that it would decide by Monday to respond favorably or not to the requests of certain unions. traders, who would like to advance the winter sales by one week to compensate in particular for losses linked to the movement of “yellow vests”.
“We are currently consulting all associations of independent businesses to know their point of view on the progress of the date of the sales, and then we will advise from the results of this mini-consultation,” said the ministry, specifying that the consultation would be completed “Friday evening or last Monday”. The president of the Confederation of French traders, Francis Palombi, had suggested this week to bring forward the date of the beginning of the sales to January 2, instead of the 9 as initially planned.
“Given the exceptional circumstances and the big loss among the independents, this would allow people to come back to stores and less on the internet, and thus recreate cash flow to weather the storm”, he pleaded. The many weekends of action of the “yellow vests” strongly affected sales during the holiday season, which represents for some traders up to 50% of annual turnover. According to the National Council of Shopping Centers (CNCC), the five weekends of consecutive poor sales – from November 17 to December 16 – thus cost 2 billion euros to the retail sector.
“Impossible to implement”
The Secretary of State for the Economy, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, herself estimated last week that the demonstrations of “yellow vests” led to an average decline of 25% of turnover in trade. But the progress of the sales is far from unanimous within the federations of traders, in particular in mass distribution.
“It is a proposal impossible to implement, for practical reasons. It would indeed be necessary, by January 2, to modify all the logistics and the transport envisaged, to redo all the posters, to change the internal organization”, says Jacques Creyssel, General Delegate of the Federation of Commerce and Distribution (FCD).
After disappointing winter sales in 2018, the government decided to reduce their duration from six to four weeks, to try to revitalize this purchasing period, which is in particular competition with the rise of e-commerce, the private sales of large brands or the days of promotions such as “Black Friday” at the end of November.