43 billion euros
Thanks to its French website, Amazon achieved a turnover of 8.3 billion euros last year, 7% more than the previous year. French newspaper Le Figaro reports this based on figures from the market research agency Kantar. However, this growth is rather modest compared to the boost experienced by the entire e-commerce market: last year, online sales increased by no less than 24% to 43 billion euros. . As a result, the market share of the American giant has increased from 22 to 19% in one year. Nevertheless, Amazon clearly remains the market leader in France, with Cdiscount as number two by a considerable margin.
The fear, expressed by retailers, that Amazon will benefit the most from the coronavirus pandemic – and in particular from forced closures during lockdowns – has thus been proven to be unfounded. There are several reasons for this. For starters, the e-commerce giant’s French distribution centers also had to be temporarily closed during the first lockout, following a union complaint about unsafe working conditions. And although Amazon was able to deliver to the French from neighboring countries, its ability to meet demand was limited.
Besides the logistical issues, anti-Amazon rhetoric, which peaked in November with the closure of non-essential stores, certainly played a role. At the time, even Prime Minister Jean Castex advised his compatriots to postpone their purchases rather than ordering on “a large foreign website”.
Most importantly, Amazon’s relative decline is due to the massive increase in online offerings. Most local traders were much better prepared after the first lockdown and were able to continue their online business during the second wave. Many physical stores also served as pick-up points for online orders.