Amazon France reveals lockdown bonanza

Retailer reveals boom in business as pandemic crisis sees consumers increasingly shift to online shopping

Amazon France has seen a massive increase in activity, according to the head of the French business. “Business increased with the lockdown,” Amazon’s Frédéric Duval said, adding that French online retail federation (Fevad) figures recorded activity rising 40-50 per cent and “this is more or less what we are seeing”.

France entered a second national lockdown on October 30, which is set to last at least until early December, with restrictions including the closure of non-essential stores, restaurants and bars.

Duval gave no signs that Amazon could cancel its “Black Friday” discount shopping day on November 27, while small shops, which have been struggling to compete against Amazon, are closed. “The French need to do their Christmas shopping and they need to make savings. This period at the end of November is very important for that and it is very important to offer that opportunity,” he said.

“What I hope is that small shopkeepers that were prevented from opening during the lockdown can reopen as soon as possible and if they can do that on November 27, it’s perfect.”

Shopowners have called on the French government to be allowed to reopen for the November 27-29 Black Friday discount weekend.

Amazon Black Friday was one of the first to kick off early sales in late October, despite the fact that Prime Day took place 10 days or so before, with deals on products across Echo and Kindle devices, laptops, TVs and smartphones. The early sale is running until November 19 and is across all key products.

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Amazon has benefited hugely from the pandemic crisis as people increasingly shift to online shopping with bricks-and-mortar stores having to shut down. The company reported better-than-expected third-quarter results, including soaring profits and 37 per cent revenue growth. Revenue came in at $96.15bn (£72.3bn, €81bn) versus analyst predictions of $92.7bn, according to Refinitiv.

Amazon said sales in the fourth quarter will be between $112bn and $121bn, which equates to growth of 28-38 per cent year-on-year. 

Amazon shares are up 74 per cent so far this year, the best performance among the five most valuable US tech companies, a group comprising Alphabet, Amazon, Apple,  Facebook and Microsoft.


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