Amazon France warehouses shut for a week

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Amazon France warehouses are to shut for a week to avoid a potential €1m per day fine. This follows a French court ordering Amazon to limit deliveries to essential goods to allow for an inspection of their safety arrangements during the Coronavirus crisis. Rather than limit deliveries, Amazon has chosen to close all six Amazon France Warehouses furloughing their staff and it’s said that they’ll apply for government support offering partial unemployment pay for workers.

“The company is forced to suspend all production activities in all of its distribution centers in order to assess the inherent risks in the COVID-19 epidemic and take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of its employees (during that period)”.
– Amazon

Amazon say that they’ve put measure in place to protect staff, but workers have still be complaining to unions. They say that they have increased cleaning routines and ensured that employees can keep the necessary distance from one another. The retailer has been justifying all it’s actions during the Coronavirus on the basis that it is prioritising the delivery of essential goods – a play for both Ocado type business and to bolster it’s customer base buying pharmacy products. The reality however is that Amazon hasn’t even managed to keep Amazon Pantry running through the pandemic and many consumers are happily buying anything and everything they fancy to keep themselves occupied during the lock down.

“We’re puzzled by the court ruling given the hard evidence brought forward regarding security measures put in place to protect our employees”
– Amazon

Impact on Merchants

Amazon France Warehouses will be shut from today, the 16th of April until the 20th of April and what this means for merchants is that any stock in Amazon France will be effectively locked down and quarantined. If you have placed stock directly in Amazon France FBA than this will impact you and other merchants signed up to Amazon FBA MCI (Multi-country Inventory) may have stock in Amazon France Warehouses without even realising it.

This doesn’t mean that French consumers can no longer buy from Amazon – the chances are high that Amazon will fall back on Amazon Logistics and simply fulfil orders from other European warehouses.

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