UPDATE 1 – Amazon France CEO says French lockdown has boosted sales

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(Add details, quote Black Friday)

PARIS, Nov. 18 (Reuters) – Online retail giant Amazon, which operated during the French lockout, has seen its activity increase by 40 to 50%, the head of Amazon France said on Wednesday.

France entered a second national lockout on October 30 and it is expected to last at least until early December. The sidewalks include the closure of non-essential shops, restaurants and bars.

“Business has grown with the lockdown,” Amazon’s Frédéric Duval told France Inter radio, adding that figures from the French online retail federation FEVAD saw activity up 40-50% and that “that’s more or less what we see”.

Duval has given no indication that Amazon may cancel its “Black Friday” discount shopping day on November 27 as small stores, which have struggled to compete with Amazon, are closed.

“The French must do their Christmas shopping and save money. This period at the end of November is very important for that and it is very important to offer this opportunity, ”he said.

“What I hope is that the small traders who were prevented from opening during the lockdown can reopen as soon as possible and if they can do so on November 27 that’s perfect.”

Recent data has shown signs that France is starting to curb the spread of the virus with its lockdown.

Store owners have called on the government to be allowed to reopen for the “Black Friday” discount weekend from November 27-29.

A day of discount shopping that takes place around the world, Black Friday typically coincides with Thanksgiving Weekend Friday in the United States.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Louise Heavens and Edmund Blair

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