Amazon takes top online retail spot in France

Amazon takes top online retail spot in France

Amazon has become the leading online retailer in France for the first time.

A consumer panel run by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Toluna for LSA-conso showed that the US group ousted Casino’s site Cdiscount to second place in January and August this year, with Darty, Fnac and Auchan ranking third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Amazon came first for cultural products and was among the top five in nearly all the other sectors according to the 300,000 active members of the panel.

The group’s spurt came as no surprise. “It is logical,” Olivier Vialle, a PwC analyst told LSA-conso. “Amazon is already leader in Great Britain and Germany, (so) sooner or later this was expected to be the case in France since its margin for growth (here) was large.” In 2013, it ran neck and neck with Cdiscount, the latter maintaining a slight advantage.

The company is definitely becoming the web hypermarket sought by founder Jeff Bezos, LSA said. It has “a long-term vision and skillfully relies on other retailers with its marketplace,” Vialle added. “Although it can be criticized for its policy towards its employees, its success is clear.”

Last month, Amazon announced it would recruit more than 2,500 people in France in anticipation of its strongest Christmas season ever. Most of the jobs are in the four French distribution centres, and will bring the group’s payroll in France to about 4,700 by the end of the year, more than half of them permanent posts, a statement said.