Small business representatives and campaign groups have urged consumers to shun this week’s Amazon Prime promotions.
Amazon will slash prices on thousands of items this week, with some even being sold at half price.
Campaigners are urging shoppers to support their local businesses instead, many of which were struggling to compete with Amazon even before the lockdown started.
Ethical Consumer has been campaigning for consumers to boycott Amazon due to its aggressive tax avoidance, and has asked shoppers to ‘think of the cost to vital public services before they click to check out’.
Director at Ethical Consumer, Tim Hunt, said there were plenty of reasons for shoppers to avoid Amazon.
“Aside from tax avoidance, Amazon has a dubious track record on many issues including workers’ rights and the environment. We urge consumers to think about whether they really need to make that purchase on Amazon Prime Day and instead how they can use their money in a way that benefits society and the environment,” said Hunt.
“There are a number of more ethical big name brands that pay a fairer rate of tax including Richer Sounds and Lush cosmetics (both of whom have been awarded the Fair Tax Mark), we call on those consumers who need to make purchases to seek out more ethical companies such as these.”
The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) has also called on shoppers to consider small retails. Bira’s chief executive, Andrew Goodacre, said that almost a quarter of independent retailers have closed down since the start of the lockdown, with many others only just surviving.
“Despite the lure of the internet, nothing can beat the positive experience of buying from a local independent retailer knowing that money spent in a local shop will in turn be spent in the local economy. Independent retailers are part of the community and need the support of shoppers now more than ever,” Goodacre said.
A spokesperson for Amazon said that small businesses would be promoted in this year’s Prime Day:
“We are investing heavily in creating jobs and infrastructure across the UK – more than £23bn since 2010. The UK has now become one of Amazon’s largest global hubs for talent and this year we announced plans to create 10,000 new jobs in the country by the end of 2020, taking our total workforce to over 40,000. This continued investment helped contribute to a total tax contribution of £1.1bn during 2019 – £293m in direct taxes and £854m in indirect taxes.”
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