Trick-or-treating, cupcakes, Starbucks…These are just a few of the American mainstays that have made their way to France. This week, another American import will cross the Atlantic. And no, I’m not talking about Thanksgiving, but Black Friday!
In the United States, the day after Halloween has been considered the beginning of the Christmas shopping season since 1932. The term “Black Friday” was introduced in the early 1960s. Since the early 2000s, the day has consistently been the busiest shopping day of the year for U.S. retailers.
In recent years, a number of French retailers have decided to hold their own version of the popular sales day, with varying levels of success. After a few stores offered “Black Friday” deals in 2012-2014, many expected 2015 to be the year when “Black Friday” sales would make a larger showing among French shops. But the terrorist attacks that took place on Friday, November 13th, 2015 cast a pall on the concept. Though the original term “Black Friday” refers to retailers turning a profit (going from being “in the red” to “in the black”), for many, the term and even the concept of a large-scale sales event seemed inappropriate in light of the devastating events.
Black Friday in France: What’s Different
This year, a few French retailers are once again offering “Black Friday” deals, but if you are familiar with the American version of the event, you may find the French equivalent a bit lacking. For one thing, the discounts tend to be less extreme in France. Furthermore, “Black Friday” deals are a lot harder to come by in France. There are a few other differences. In France, “Black Friday” usually refers to a whole weekend or even week of sales instead of just one day. You’ll also notice that while American retailers often have separate in-person (“Black Friday”) and online (“Cyber Monday”) sales events, in France “Black Friday” refers to all sales. The sales also have different names depending on the retailer.
Below is a list of 18 retailers in Paris, Ile-de-France and online who will have special “Black Friday” sales this weekend:
Auchan (called “Crazy week-end)
Carrefour (called “Les jours discount”)
FNAC (called “Les 4 jours uniques”)
Brand Alley (called “White Friday”)
Several shopping centers in Paris and surrounding suburbs will be having sales (called “Les jours XXL”) from November 25th-27th:
So what do you think of “Black Friday” in France? Are you critical of the idea of another day to promote consumerism? Are you against the “Americanization” of the French retail industry? Or maybe you just hope to find a good deal. Let us know what you think in the comments!