I was so angry when I read about Amazon.com's Price Checker App promotion: the company actually paid shoppers to collect information on prices at local bricks-and-mortar shops and then shop at Amazon instead. In most places, Amazon doesn't pay any taxes and they don't contribute to local economies in nearly the same way that small businesses do.
In 1960 my grandparents opened Marcus Books, the nation's oldest independent African-American bookstore. Marcus Books is still here but it's a struggle. All around the country I see independent bookstores and other retailers fighting for survival in this tough economy. Amazon's Price Checker app goes beyond simple competition in a free marketplace. It represents an ugly race to the bottom that might provide short-term benefit for bargain hunters, but will lead to long-term pain for communities in the form of lost jobs and tax revenues.
If Amazon wants any credibility with consumers from here on out, they should pledge not to use these kinds of promotion techniques for the Price Checker app in the future and should apologize to small businesses.
- SVP, North American Retail
- CEO, Amazon.com
I'm outraged at Amazon.com's recent "Price Check App" promotion that essentially paid people to abandon local brick and mortar businesses this holiday season. Or as Gawker.com put it, "Amazon.com announced it will pay customers up to $5 to go into a local store, scan an item, walk out, and buy the same item on Amazon."
Small, local retailers are having a tough enough time without being preyed upon by huge corporations. I'm calling on Amazon to publicly repudiate and apologize for this race-to-the-bottom promotion.
Small businesses drive our economy, hire the bulk of workers, and fill state and local tax coffers. Amazon.com not only doesn't pay taxes in most states, but your corporation has systematically fought against doing so whenever the issue has come up.
Amazon's naked attack on small businesses strikes me as an attack on American communities. I demand that Amazon publicly announce that there will be no more "price check" promotions and apologize to America's small business owners.
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