France is considering banning Black Friday under the French anti-waste law, even though a new record of 57 million card payments was reached this year - compared to just 50 million last year.
Bargains or waste?
Last Friday, 56.6 million card payments were registered in France. That is considerably more than the 50.3 million of last year. In terms of turnover, the analysts predicted a record turnover of 5.9 billion euros, a 4 % increase compared to 2018. Since the bargain festival was first organised in France in 2013, it has steadily grown stronger over the years.
However, on 9 December, the French Parliament will vote on a proposal to ban Black Friday and Cyber Monday from now on. The proposal comes from the former Minister of Ecology, Delphine Batho, who wants to add an amendment to the existing anti-waste law. The current Minister of the Ecological Transition, Elisabeth Borne, also warned of the negative consequences of the bargain day. "We cannot reduce greenhouse gas emissions and call for mad consumption at the same time. Above all, we need to consume better," says Borne in Le Parisien.
Up to two years imprisonment
The proposal aims to label Black Friday and derived holidays as "aggressive commercial practices", something that is punishable in France and for which offenders risk two-year prison sentences and fines of up to 300,000 euros. The initiators are supported by a study by the French consumer association UFC-Que Choisir, which showed that the discount per customer actually is no more than 2 % on average and that bargain hunters, therefore, do not really benefit from this - partly because often prices are secretly increased beforehand.
However, the French advertising authority (ARPP) is not in favour of the idea. In their view, there is already a sufficiently large legal framework, and a possible ban may also conflict with European legislation.