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Daunt questions Amazon over tax subsidies

James Daunt has restated his view that Amazon operates in an advantageous fiscal environment in the UK allowing it to aggressively grow its business at the expense of smaller high street stores.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Daunt questioned why Amazon should receive tax breaks to open warehouses that sucked jobs away from high streets. "What proportion of jobs do they create in a warehouse relative to the number they destroy on the immediate high streets around them, and why is the taxpayer funding this destruction?" he said.

Daunt said Amazon's "very business model is a job destroyer".

It is not the first time the Waterstones managing director has hit out at  Amazon—though his comments are given added weight as the retailer now has a deal with the internet giant internet to sells its Kindle e-reading devices in its stores. In an interview with The Bookseller, Daunt questioned a subsidy Amazon had received from the Scottish government for opening a warehouse in Dundee, saying that "they are putting on the dole queue countless numbers of relatively unskilled people who are going to find it extremely difficult to get jobs".

Daunt said the blame lay with politicians for creating a tax regime that allowed multinational companies to minimise their corporation tax bills, and said politicians should instead look to support the high street. "Amazon is an American. It has a fiduciary responsibility to minimise its tax, and it will minimise it," he told the FT.

Amazon's warehouse practises have been put under the spotlight recently by a number of investigations, including a major investigation in the FT and a documentary programme in Germany.

In a separate write-up of the FT interview, Daunt said that he expected to spend more than £20m this year refurbishing another 60 stores, having overhauled 40 in 2012. "The world has changed now because, if you want something, our friendly rivals at Amazon will get that through your letter box pretty quick and cheaply," he says. "Now it's all about the ambience and the environment that we create."

 

 

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Sorry James, but you are helping to fund Amazon's growth by selling their Kindles for them, so it's a bit rich to start attacking them for being a "job destroyer" now, old bean.

Amazon is not a partner. Their business model is like a robot in The Terminator that has a mission and will destroy anything in it's path with no emotion or regard for any living thing or property in it's wake. James Daunt made the mistake of thinking that if you work with Amazon then some how their behavior would be different or modified and they would act as a partner. No that is not Amazon's mission.

I remember a scene in the movie CASINO where a restaurant owner has a financial problem and so he invites the mob to partner with him. He thinks this way they will pay their bills which amount to 10's of thousands of dollars because they are now his "partners". What then happens is the complete destruction of his business. Everything of value is stolen and then when the restaurant becomes a shell the mob burns it to the ground.

Amazon is all about their foot print. They don't care if they are profitable. We have not seen that type of business model in retailing ever. That is a dangerous thing for everyone else who comes up against them in business. There are major advantages for companies like Amazon over their competitors and governments filled with many who have no understand of this new ground have been too slow to the table to understand this new creation of the internet era and therefore craft business regulations that allow for a level playing field for all. Amazon can sell at lower fixed costs than traditional businesses. That alone gives them an incredible advantage. They don't have the same over head and fixed costs that other non-internet businesses have to pay. But as I said above when a company does not have to make a profit and then can operate without many of the fixed costs of traditional businesses that is a formula for disaster for everyone else in the retail space. That is why now Amazon is virtually the only big player left in retail book selling and they are spreading themselves in markets around the world. Now I want to state I am not an Amazon basher. No I am only stating the facts.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
Like us on Facebook
www.tridentmediagroup.com

Sorry James, but you are helping to fund Amazon's growth by selling their Kindles for them, so it's a bit rich to start attacking them for being a "job destroyer" now, old bean.

Amazon is not a partner. Their business model is like a robot in The Terminator that has a mission and will destroy anything in it's path with no emotion or regard for any living thing or property in it's wake. James Daunt made the mistake of thinking that if you work with Amazon then some how their behavior would be different or modified and they would act as a partner. No that is not Amazon's mission.

I remember a scene in the movie CASINO where a restaurant owner has a financial problem and so he invites the mob to partner with him. He thinks this way they will pay their bills which amount to 10's of thousands of dollars because they are now his "partners". What then happens is the complete destruction of his business. Everything of value is stolen and then when the restaurant becomes a shell the mob burns it to the ground.

Amazon is all about their foot print. They don't care if they are profitable. We have not seen that type of business model in retailing ever. That is a dangerous thing for everyone else who comes up against them in business. There are major advantages for companies like Amazon over their competitors and governments filled with many who have no understand of this new ground have been too slow to the table to understand this new creation of the internet era and therefore craft business regulations that allow for a level playing field for all. Amazon can sell at lower fixed costs than traditional businesses. That alone gives them an incredible advantage. They don't have the same over head and fixed costs that other non-internet businesses have to pay. But as I said above when a company does not have to make a profit and then can operate without many of the fixed costs of traditional businesses that is a formula for disaster for everyone else in the retail space. That is why now Amazon is virtually the only big player left in retail book selling and they are spreading themselves in markets around the world. Now I want to state I am not an Amazon basher. No I am only stating the facts.

Robert Gottlieb
Chairman
Trident Media Group, LLC
Like us on Facebook
www.tridentmediagroup.com