A bit late in the day I have finally found out what the advertising push ‘French Days’ is all about. My first attempts to do some research didn’t get me far. French Days typed into the Google search bar came back with language sites giving me the days of the week in French! I’ve known those since Junior School.

So I dug around a bit more and at last, on the last day of what has been a five-day promotion by various French companies, I have found the answer. And just given it to you!

The heads of six big ecommerce businesses – CDiscount, Boulanger, La Redoute, Rue de Commerce, showroomprive.com and Fnac Darty - got together and came up with a French equivalent of Black Friday. Rather than get the Christmas shopping season off to an early start, they’ve decided to encourage the French people to spend online over the five days from 27th April to 1st May. May Day is a huge holiday here, the only day apart from Christmas Day when absolutely everything will be shut. On all the other public holidays there will be at least some shops open.

Why is this a market to cultivate? Well, the French are the third biggest European nation of online spenders after Germany and Great Britain. In 2017 we spent 81.7 billion euros on online purchases. Our family contributed to that and we count amongst the 37 million online shoppers in France. Given our remote rural setting then online shopping is a boon since it means not having to drive the best part of an hour to the nearest big towns at Guéret or Montluçon. And even they don’t have everything we need from time to time.

The organisers think the timing is good because May has a whole bunch of public holidays in it, and will see the start of the World Cup. Apparently that will put us all in a good mood and make us want to enjoy ourselves by buying things we don’t necessarily want! (Actually all the days off have caused extra hassle for our household, and many others with kids who board at lycée, but I’ll blog about that imminently.) They are hoping to give m-commerce – purchases made from mobile phone or tablet – an extra boost. It increased 37% in 2017 from 2016 so does seem to be the way things are going.

So has the initiative worked? I for one haven’t bought anything online and, as revealed here, had no idea what the whole thing was about till this morning. I’d seen ‘French Days’ included in spam emails but that was as far as it went. Maybe it will take a few years to get off the ground – we’ll just have to wait and see.

(Acknowledgement: French flag free photo copyright Squareplum ID4698681 Dreamstime)