“Yellow vests”: the winter sales will start well on January 9

VIDEO – Taking into account the strong loss of turnover of traders since the start of the movement of “yellow vests”, the president of the Confederation of traders of France had asked at the beginning of the week to bring forward the start of promotions to 2 January.

The winter sales will start well on January 9th. After consultation with the various professional trade organizations and federations, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance decided not to bring this date forward by one week, as had been suggested. “Bringing forward the date of the winter sales is not desired by a majority of federations of traders consulted by the government,” Secretary of State for the Economy, Agnès Pannier-Runacher announced on Friday. The start of sales is therefore maintained on January 9, the date on which businesses have been preparing for several weeks. “

Taking into account the strong loss of turnover of traders since the start of the “yellow vests” movement, in recent days, several voices have been raised to suggest bringing forward the date of the sales in order to bring back customers who have shunned the signs during the months of November and December because of the blockages. The president of the Confederation of independent traders of France (CDF), Francis Palombi, suggested this week to bring forward the date of the beginning of the sales “to January 2 or January 3”, instead of 9 as initially planned. .

Couldn’t be ready on January 2

However, although many federations believe that it is a “good idea”, all point to the material difficulties – even the impossibility – of being ready on January 2. Especially since a large number of traders recruit temporary staff during sales periods.

“It is an impossible proposition to implement, for practical reasons. It would indeed be necessary, by January 2, to modify all the logistics and transport planned, redo all the posters, change the internal organization ”, thus indicated Thursday Jacques Creyssel, general delegate of the Federation of the commerce and the distribution (FCD). However, he said he was open to a reflection to bring forward the date of the sales from next year.

In, the Secretary of State for Commerce specified that she would receive at the beginning of January the representatives of artisans and traders who saw their turnover drop during the movement of “yellow vests” to make “an update”.

The multiple weekends of action of the “yellow vests” have indeed 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 bad sales – from November 17 to December 16 – thus cost 2 billion euros to the retail sector. Agnès Pannier-Runacher herself estimated last week that the demonstrations of “yellow vests” had led to an average decline of 25% of turnover in trade.

The winter sales benefit the self-employed less

Usually small traders are quite hostile to sales. Unable to cope with the massive drops from the big brands and the giants of online sales, they generally cannot keep up with their competitors and must keep prices higher than elsewhere. Their hostility towards these promotional periods has grown with increasingly marked competition from online sales and the appearance of new periods of falling prices such as private sales which have made these two outdated. annual promotion periods. In addition, the January sales have long been seen as too late on the one hand and too long on the other.

Published in February, the latest edition produced by the Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry is revealing in these respects: 65% of Parisian traders say they are unhappy with the results of the 2018 winter sales, a proportion more marked among the self-employed than among brands which took more advantage of this period. In addition, professionals blame the rise of the internet and the generally accepted idea that prices will be cheaper online in the first place, and more than two-thirds of them believe that sales are no longer an event. their clients. A similar proportion consider that the date of the sales is badly chosen and 55% think that the six-week period is too long.


How are the sales organized?

These particularly important periods for businesses are defined as “sales accompanied or preceded by advertising and announced as tending, through a reduction in price, to the accelerated sale of goods in stock”. Regulated, they allow companies in particular to sell at a loss. Their dates are set by the state and they take place twice a year, in January and June. Since 2015, the law has established their duration at six weeks.

In recent years, the sales have seen their importance decrease in the face of the downfall of e-commerce as well as the emergence of new modes of consumption such as the “Black Friday” promotion, directly imported from the United States. The government of Édouard Philippe therefore decided to within the framework of the PACTE law, in order to “strengthen their impact” by concentrating the price reductions over a shorter period. This bill, validated by the National Assembly, will reach the Senate in January 2019.


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