Black Friday, stop or again?

In France, Black Friday can be compared to the Halloween party: it is an event that conquered our country starting from the United States and which, ten years later, is one of the essential periods of commercial promotions… This operation has even been renamed Black Friday Week since it now spans several days.

According to polls, between 70 and 90% of French people questioned say they are determined to take advantage of this opportunity. Especially since this year, inflation is driving the point home: according to the Federation of e-commerce and distance selling (Fevad), bargain hunting is the main motivation for participating in Black Friday, in order to their Christmas gifts at the best price.

To the point that some traders now show better turnover in November than in December…

Commercial, social and ecological issues

However, criticism is not lacking in the face of this event, on several levels. First there are the alerts on scams and other false reductions: some sellers artificially increase their prices a week before the fateful date, to better deflate the labels on D-Day… in an equally artificial way. “It’s illegal on paper, recalls Philippe Moati, of Obsoco, but in practice, it is difficult to put a policeman behind each trader. »

Black Friday also raises the social question, because it puts pressure on already pressurized and poorly paid professions: logisticians and field salespeople in particular.

Ecologically, too, the bill is heavy. Of course, Black Friday allows merchants to sell their unsold goods. However, some brands specially build up stocks for this operation: they thus contribute to overproduction and pollution. A few hours after the closing of COP 27 in Egypt, this reality is a stain.

It’s not The cross who says it is Élisabeth Borne… when she was Minister of Ecological Transition, in November 2019, warning against the pollution generated by Black Friday: “You are encouraged to buy products that you don’t necessarily need. (…) We cannot both want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and call for a consumption frenzy like that. »

End of the world and end of the month

Three years later, the discourse is less sharp. Matignon replies that Elisabeth Borne will not speak on Black Friday this year. “She is still on the same line, but she does not reproach the French in this difficult period for purchasing power. (…) the government’s role is not to interfere in household consumption, but to ensure that they are informed about the origin and quality of products, in order to consume “sustainably and responsibly”. » And then, inflation changed the situation, further justifies Matignon.

Still, the climate issue has also evolved. After the trio of “heat wave, drought and fires” this summer, Emmanuel Macron himself warned the French that the time of carelessness and abundance was behind us…

Combining ecology, social justice and democracy

To overcome this recurring opposition between the end of the month and the end of the world, more and more companies are organizing alternative operations to Black Friday, to demonstrate that we can consume less, but better, by promoting products from used, or devices whose durability is proven.

At the same time, organizations, NGOs and associations, meeting for three years, are promoting the “pact of the power to live”. Their belief: It is possible and necessary to combine ecology, social justice and democracy, (…) to improve the daily life of citizens while preparing a new model. »

Black Friday, stop or again?