Amazon misses target in France as European e-commerce explodes

Amazon. com is the undisputed winner of the pandemic boom in e-commerce in Europe, except in France.

The company missed an internal target for parcel shipments in the eurozone’s second-largest economy last year, according to a confidential report seen by Bloomberg, after setbacks on everything from Covid-19 containment measures to cookies advertising.

Amazon’s local unit, Amazon France Logistique, shipped 258 million packages, up from 229 million in 2019, but below the previous target of 416 million, according to the report by accounting firm Progexa commissioned by French unions. ‘Amazon.

The findings highlight the challenges Amazon has faced since entering the country more than two decades ago and help explain why it is investing hundreds of millions of euros in French football broadcast rights to boost demand for its. Prime subscriptions.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the report only covered the activity of its French warehouses, and not French orders fulfilled by Amazon facilities in other countries. A representative for Progexa declined to comment, citing the need for business confidentiality.

The French government and industry regulators have always closely monitored Amazon’s activities. In April last year, it suspended operations in France for five weeks after a local court ruled it failed to effectively protect workers from the coronavirus.

The shutdown was followed only by a gradual return to normal operations as the company restocked its warehouses, according to the Amazon spokeswoman.

Then, in December, the French data protection agency CNIL fined it 35 million euros for placing advertising cookies with visitors to its French website without their consent.

In the latest move to curb the business, French lawmakers two weeks ago passed a bill that would set a minimum price for the delivery of books to protect traditional booksellers. Amazon recently shipped books for as little as 1 euro cent.

Lose a share

Many French buyers have hesitated to buy from Amazon, giving way to local competitors such as Cdiscount SA or Fnac Darty SA. Amazon is the largest e-commerce player in France, but its local market share fell to 19% last year from 22% in 2019, according to a Kantar study published in March.

Its sales in France failed to keep pace with a 24% increase in e-commerce in the country last year, rising 7% to 8.3 billion euros, according to Kantar.

This compares to Amazon’s sales in Germany of $ 29.6 billion last year and $ 26.5 billion in the UK, according to Amazon documents. It does not disclose its sales in France.

The e-commerce giant aims to bounce back this year with plans to ship 451 million packages from its French distribution centers, according to the Progexa report from Oct.5.

The company is still investing in the country and aims to open a major distribution center each year, adding to its eight giant warehouses in the country. Its last 185,000 square meter site was inaugurated in Augny near the Luxembourg border two months ago. The company also opens a dozen smaller delivery centers each year.

Amazon is trying to improve its image in France and increase the number of Prime subscribers. Its Prime Video service offers Ligue 1 football for an additional € 12.99 per month since August. – Bloomberg

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