One could almost hear the celebratory whoops coming from Amazon execs in France on Tuesday when they began reopening their six warehouses in the country. The company shut them down nearly five weeks ago when labor unions successfully sued for failing to protect 10,000 workers from the novel coronavirus.
“This is excellent news for our employees…for our customers, and for all French SMEs that rely on Amazon,” Amazon’s France CEO Frédéric Duval cooed on French radio, promising to offer “continuous improvement in customer experience.”
It’s not such excellent news, however, for Amazon’s competitors.
For the past month, the company’s legal wrangles in France have served as a live experiment in how the world’s consumers might change their shopping habits if Amazon—the $1.2 trillion behemoth that’s No. 2 on the Fortune 500 list—was suddenly no longer an option.
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For shoppers and companies alike, the results are mixed—and perhaps a sobering lesson for businesses about how to survive in an Amazon world.