Amazon and the commercial logic of disposable

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The scoop of the show capital Sunday night M6, on the road that Amazon France destroys the stocks of new products of the sellers partners of its market, will accelerate the creation of a more rigid picture of these recurring practices? Invited on the set of the show to react to the chronicle of the journalist Guillaume Cahour, realized behind closed doors in a warehouse of this company recently become the most expensive in the world, the Secretary of State for the ecological transition Brown Poirson, "Shocked" is "Exasperated" promised that a bill would be proposed in the coming months. His purpose? Prohibit distributors like Amazon from launching new unsold products.

Sell ​​as fast as possible

Hired as a storekeeper in one of the five French stores of Amazon, in Chalon-sur-Saône (Saône-et-Loire), the journalist was able to film containers of objects of all kinds destined for destruction: coffee machines, televisions , toys … Products manufactured and shipped more often from China before being stored in Amazon's huge warehouses, which guarantees their distribution on behalf of legions of business partners. Citing union sources, the report says that 3.2 million products would be destroyed every year in France alone, including 293,000 in nine months for the only warehouse in Burgundy in Chalon.

The report explains very well the incessant economic logic that presides over this destruction. The destroyed products come from third-party vendors who, in addition to sales commissions, pay Amazon's on-site storage charges to deliver them quickly to customers. It costs 26 euros / m3 initially, then 500 euros / m3 after six months and 1,000 euros / m3 beyond. A progressive pricing that encourages sales as quickly as possible and therefore at low prices, in order to promote the rotation of stocks, all within a plentiful supply. Amazon boasts the sale of hundreds of millions of products, including over two million deliveries in one business day for the 100 million subscribers to its Prime program.

While every second transaction on its site comes from the market, the cost of unsold goods continues to grow over time for the partners they prefer, and it is perfectly legal to order destruction at a cost. minimum rather than recovering it from the other side of the world or continue to pay for its deposit. A deterrent system that is easy for Amazon to say that it is not directly responsible for the decision to destroy the market partners. "The Amazon system amplifies overproduction, since its principle is to offer a" plethoric "offer, analyzes Guillaume Cahour, the author of the report interviewed by the world. I'm not saying that buying or selling on Amazon is wrong. On the other hand, sellers and buyers know the conditions? I do not think so. This relationship can awaken some form of responsibility ".

Make the markets legally responsible

For the minister, "Marketplace like Amazon" must be judged "The predefined producers of the end of life of the products they market will have to find solutions". At maturity, he says, he owes nothing to an announcement under the spell of emotion, and on which he says that public authorities have worked for a year and a half under a future law on circular economy to combat waste and change the production methods. Vast program, given that at this stage the minister is not able to say how he intends to take on new legal responsibilities for platforms that present themselves as mere logistic partners, acting in all legality.

Also present on Sunday, Alma Dufour, spokesperson for the Friends of the Earth association, who had the first warning on these years of destruction of new products at 80%, welcomed these announcements: "They are welcome at a time when the number of products destroyed could increase to 6 million in 2019 with the doubling of the storage space of the multinational in France, if nothing had been done".

He was regularly questioned for his practices, as was the recent subcontracting of his messengers releaseAmazon has felt the danger that these new revelations weigh on its image. His French subsidiary reacted on Monday morning by relativising the importance of these destructions and returning the ball to the court of public authorities. "Only a small proportion of unsold products are destroyed, most are recycled, resold, returned or donated, says the online brand, which explains in a statement regularly make donations for associations such as Dons Solidaires or Food Banks. But the case is different for donations from "Third-party sellers", recognizes Amazon, so "Current VAT rules require sellers to pay VAT on donations, which is not economically viable". So the absence of any other choice besides the destruction of a small number of products justifies the company. A topic that Amazon claims to have brought to the attention of "Competent authorities".

Allowed the Amazon survey capital to reach his best audience for six years with just over 4 million viewers in front of their screens or 17.4% share share.

Christophe Alix

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