“The only thing missing was the main propagator of the price increase, Amazon”

Amazon warehouse, in Bretigny-sur-Orge (Essonne), on December 4, 2021.

CLike a forest fire, inflation knows no borders or protected areas. Once the proper temperature is exceeded, nothing can stop the flames. The rise in prices reached 8.5% in the United States in March 2022, something unprecedented since 1981. Starting from raw materials, the fire now spreads to the entire economy. First through the increase in fuel prices. The airlines have raised the price of the tickets, Uber the one of the races and Fedex the one of the deliveries.

Only the main propagator of price increases in the country, Amazon, was missing. The emperor of electronic commerce has announced a 5% increase in the price of his shipments applied to all sellers who negotiate on his platform, that is, a good part of the retail trade in the United States. Already penalized by their own logistical and raw material problems, retailers of garden tables, toys, toothbrushes or ready meals will have to dance labels or lose money.

storage capacities

In a letter to its professional clients, Amazon justifies this measure by the rise in fuel prices, of course, but also by the considerable investments made during the crisis to increase its storage and delivery capacities, which resulted in the hiring of 750,000 employees. A colossal figure according to the power now of Amazon.

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It also justifies the increase by the salary of its workers, whose minimum went from 15 dollars (about 13.7 euros) to 18 dollars in the fall of 2021, given, in particular, the shortage of labor. The inflation trap, therefore, is in the process of closing: inflation is driving up wages, which is driving up prices, which is fueling wage demands in a country that is already at full employment, and so on. .

More than 50% of the products sold on the Amazon site are sold by third-party merchants.

But not everyone has the luck of Amazon, that of the dominant player in its market and therefore can pass on its costs. The platform accounts for almost 40% of e-commerce sales in the United States. Largely because, from its origins, it generously welcomed all its competitors who wanted to take advantage of its logistics. A bet branded silly twenty years ago and that today takes on all its meaning. More than 50% of the products sold on their site are sold by third-party merchants. Bit by bit, Jeff Bezos’ firm offered to take over their logistics, delivery, and then their IT. At unbeatable prices. An army of forced that represents a quarter of electronic commerce in America and that today must swallow the successive rises without them having the power to pass them on to their customers.

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