“Amazon not to blame for turmoil in retail”
Although the retail industry in the United Kingdom is suffering, as more and more empty retail units arise, Amazon is not primarily to blame for this trend. At least, that’s the opinion of Amazon’s UK managing director Christopher North. “We are still a pretty small part of the total retail environment in the UK.”
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He continues by saying that he thinks customers through online retailing, not just Amazon, have access to a lot of choices they didn’t used to have. “What every business should do is put their case before the consumer and let customers make the choice”, he tells The Telegraph.
In 3 years, Amazon’s workforce could have doubled in UK
And it seems Amazon is giving consumers a pretty good and welcome choice. With eight huge fulfilment centres in England, Scotland and Wales, 6000 full-time staff and 4.7 billion euros of sales, Amazon.co.uk has become an integral part of the ecommerce industry in the UK. And within just three years, its workforce could have doubled, North thinks. And after just opening a new office in central London it’s now preparing for the holiday season. It’s expected to take more than 3.5 million orders on it busiest day at the end of December.
But Amazon’s situation is not entirely rosy. Its revenues rise, but Amazon made a loss last year nonetheless. And despite creating new jobs in the UK, it has also been criticised for the amount of tax its pays. North defends Amazon’s business model by claiming it is sustainable and that the company has taken “a philosophical decision” to invest the money it generates back into the business. It has never paid a dividend to date, for example.
‘We expect each business to make money over time’
“Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, said that in the long run there is no contradiction between innovating on behalf of customers and putting the customers first every time, and your long-term growth and profitability. Typically when we go into a new business we don’t expect to make money at the beginning, we expect to be in investment mode for a period of time, but we absolutely do expect each business to make money over time.”
Although Amazon in the US has expanded its grocery service AmazonFresh from Seattle to Los Angeles, a grocery service in the UK is not expected to roll out soon. But nonetheless the British supermarkets like Tesco and Asda are already impacted as their sales of non-food products suffer from the rise of Amazon. If the American ecommerce company one day decides to offer its grocery service in the UK, it will get very impetuous in the total retail environment…