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While Amazon has reached many successes throughout Europe, the company was unable to reach its target in France last year. Covid-19 measures and local regulations caused setbacks for the company on several levels.
Last year, the well known marketplace Amazon missed an internal target for package shipments in the second-biggest economy within the euro zone, France. Local Amazon France Logistique shipped 258 million packages, which is up from 229 million in 2019, but below in the feedback section a target of 416 million.
Challenges in France
Amazon has faced multiple challenges in France since it entered the country over twenty years ago. In April last year, the French government suspended Amazon’s operations in France for five weeks after a local court ruled that it had failed to protect workers from the coronavirus.
Amazon’s operations in France were suspended for five weeks.
In December, French data protection agency CNIL fined Amazon for 35 million euros for placing advertising cookies with visitors to its French website without their consent. And two weeks ago, French lawmakers adopted a bill that will set a minimum price for book delivery to protect traditional booksellers. Recently, the company has been shipping books for just 1 cent.
French shoppers reluctant to buy on Amazon
But these restrictions are not the only setback that Amazon encountered. French shoppers are reluctant to buy on Amazon, which has left room for local players such as Cdiscount and Fnac Darty. Though the American marketplace is the biggest ecommerce player in France, its share in the local market fell to 19 percent last year from 22 percent in 2019.
Amazon’s share in the French market fell to 19 percent.
And while ecommerce sales in France grew with 24 percent, Amazon has been unable to keep up. The company’s sales grew with only 7 percent to 8.3 billion euros.
Plans to bounce back this year
According to Amazon, the ecommerce giant wants to bounce back this year. It has now set a target of 451 shipped packages from its French fulfilment centers. In order to do so, the company is investing heavily into the country. Amazon aims to open a major fulfilment center every year, adding to its eight giant warehouses in the country. Two months ago, its latest warehouse of 185.000 square-meters was opened in Augny. The company will also open approximately 12 smaller delivery hubs every year.
Additionally, the company wants to improve its image in France. One goal is boosting the number of Prime subscribers. Amazon is investing hundreds of millions of euros in French soccer broadcasting rights. Since August, French viewers can order Ligue 1 soccer for an extra fee of 12,99 euros per month on Prime Video.
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