“All that was missing was the main propagator of the price hike, Amazon”


VSLike a forest fire, inflation knows no borders or protected areas. Once the right temperature is exceeded, nothing can stop the flames. The rise in prices reached 8.5% in the United States in March 2022, unheard of since 1981. Starting from raw materials, the fire is now spreading to the entire economy. First through rising fuel prices. Airlines have raised the price of tickets, Uber that of races and Fedex of deliveries.

All that was missing was the main propagator of price increases in the country, Amazon. The emperor of e-commerce has announced a 5% increase in the price of its deliveries applied to all sellers who trade on its platform, that is to say a good part of the retail trade in the United States . Already penalized by their own logistical problems and raw materials, merchants of garden tables, toys, toothbrushes or ready meals will have to waltz labels or lose money.

Storage capacities

In a letter to its professional customers, Amazon justifies this measure by the rise in fuel prices, of course, but also by the considerable investments made during the crisis to increase its storage and delivery capacities, which resulted in the hiring of 750,000 employees. A colossal figure commensurate with the power now of Amazon.

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It also justifies the increase by that of the salary of its workers, the minimum of which rose from 15 dollars (around 13.7 euros) to 18 dollars in the fall of 2021, in the face, in particular, of labor shortages. The inflation trap is therefore in the process of closing: inflation is driving up wages, which are driving up prices, which are fueling wage demands in a country that is already at full employment, and so on.

More than 50% of goods sold on Amazon’s site are sold by third-party merchants

But not everyone has the luck of Amazon, that of the dominant player in its market and which therefore can pass on its costs. The platform accounts for nearly 40% of e-commerce sales in the United States. Largely because it generously welcomed, from its origins, all its competitors who wanted to take advantage of its logistics. A bet deemed foolish twenty years ago and which takes on its full meaning today. More than 50% of the goods sold on its site are sold by third-party merchants. Gradually, the firm of Jeff Bezos offered to take charge of their logistics, delivery, then their IT. At unbeatable prices. An army of obligated which represents a quarter of e-commerce in America and which today must swallow the successive increases without themselves having the power to pass them on to their customers.

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