October 24, 2014

Amazon is France’s number one online retailer


This keyboard feature doesn't actually exist.

This keyboard feature doesn’t actually exist.

Amazon has become the leading online retailer in France for the very first time, The Bookseller reports.

According to a consumer panel of 300,000 members, Amazon was the leading retailer in both January and August, knocking Cdiscount.com off the top spot, a website selling heavily discounted consumer products. It may also be the only online retailer in the world to beat Amazon in sheer gaudiness.

Amazon also triumphed over Darty, Fnac and Auchan, and according to the Bookseller “came first for cultural products and was among the top five in nearly all the other sectors”. We can safely assume that books fall into the category of “cultural products”, but it appears that within the group of frontrunners, only Fnac also sells books online.

Olivier Vialle, a Price Waterhouse Coopers analyst (the company ran the consumer panel) said Amazon’s dominance wasn’t a surprise:

It is logical…Amazon is already leader in Great Britain and Germany, (so) sooner or later this was expected to be the case in France since its margin for growth (here) was large.

The growth of Amazon in France was reflected in its announcement last month that it would be recruiting over 2,500 more French workers to cover what they predict will be their busiest ever Christmas season in France.

The news that Amazon is now France’s number one online retailer will come as a blow to the French parliament who have taken severe measures to slow the American behemoth’s rise to cultural dominance. As we reported in June of this year, the parliament voted almost unanimously in favour of a law nicknamed “The Anti-Amazon Law” which bans free shipping when a book is already discounted.

Let’s hope the French parliament is already planning its next move.


Zeljka Marosevic is the managing director of Melville House UK.