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Amazon's French division said Thursday it was open to delaying its November "Black Friday" sale into December if the government allows shops to reopen after weeks of lockdown.

Smaller businesses have complained that they would lose out to the online giant if it is allowed to go ahead with the annual promotional event, originally imported from the US, while their doors remain closed.

"We've decided to push back the date of 'Black Friday' if that allows shops and physical stores to reopen before December 1," Amazon France boss Frederic Duval told broadcaster TF1.

The sale had been planned for November 27 but could instead take place on December 4, he added.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire had on Wednesday asked retailers to "postpone" the massive sale, and talks with the sector were slated for Friday.

On Thursday he hailed "the spirit of responsibility" shown by sellers who have agreed to delay the promotion.

Japan-based Rakuten's French chief Fabien Versavau said the company was prepared to be "flexible" as long as other firms played along.

And major supermarket chains like Carrefour have also said they are ready to cooperate.