Amazon missed its target in France in 2020


While Amazon has had many successes across Europe, the company was unable to meet its target in France last year. Covid-19 related measures and local regulations have caused setbacks for the company on several levels.

Last year, the well-known marketplace Amazon missed an internal target for parcel shipments in the eurozone’s second-largest economy, France. Amazon France Logistique local shipped 258 million packages, up from 229 million in 2019, but below the target of 416 million.

The challenges in France

Amazon has faced multiple challenges in France since entering the country over twenty years ago. In April last year, the French government suspended Amazon’s operations in France for five weeks after a local court ruled it failed to protect workers from the coronavirus.

Amazon’s operations in France were suspended for five weeks.

In December, the French data protection agency CNIL fined Amazon 35 million euros for placing advertising cookies with visitors to its French site without their consent. And two weeks ago, French lawmakers passed a bill that will set a minimum price for the delivery of books to protect traditional booksellers. Recently, the company shipped books for just 1 penny.

French buyers hesitate to buy from Amazon

But these restrictions aren’t the only setback Amazon has encountered. French buyers are reluctant to buy from Amazon, which has given way to local players like Cdiscount and Fnac Darty. Although the US marketplace is the largest player in e-commerce in France, its share of the local market fell to 19% last year from 22% in 2019.

Amazon’s share of the French market fell to 19%.

And while e-commerce sales in France rose 24%, Amazon couldn’t keep up. The company’s sales rose only 7% to 8.3 billion euros.

Plans to bounce back this year

According to Amazon, the e-commerce giant wants to bounce back this year. It has now set a target of 451 packages shipped from its French distribution centers. To do this, the company is investing heavily in the country. Amazon aims to open a major distribution center each year, adding to its eight giant warehouses in the country. Two months ago, its last 185,000 m² warehouse was inaugurated in Augny. The company will also open around 12 smaller delivery centers each year.

In addition, the company wishes to improve its image in France. One of the goals is to increase the number of Prime subscribers. Amazon is investing hundreds of millions of euros in broadcasting rights for French football. Since August, French viewers can order Ligue 1 football for an additional 12.99 euros per month on Prime Video.

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