Amazon Marketplace Investigation April 2023
There is an investigation underway by the CMA into Amazon’s use of non-public third-party seller data within Amazon’s retail business, as well as how Amazon selects which products are displayed within its ‘Buy Box’ and which sellers can list under Prime.
Book Depository Closing by Amazon
Book Depository closing based in Gloucester, will close at the end of April due to staff reductions. Stuart Felton and Andrew Crawford founded Book Depository to compete with Amazon. Instead of just bestsellers, six million titles covering a wide range of genres and topics were planned.
As a result of Amazon’s 2011 acquisition, the UK book trade gained more control. Operating profit on sales of £69 million was £2.3 million before the purchase. It was reported that Book Depository would be closing on April 26, according to an internal email sent out to vendors and publishers.
We will wind down the business over the next few weeks, including discontinuing our listings as marketplace sellers and closing the website, wrote Andy Chart.
From all of us at Book Depository and all of our book-loving customers, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and commitment over the years,” he concluded.
Amazon announced in November that it was eliminating positions across its Devices and Books businesses and offering voluntary reductions to employees in its People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) division. Earlier in March, it was revealed that AWS, PXT, Advertising, and Twitch were to cut 9,000 more jobs.
Book Depository Shop Closing Date April 28, 2023
Book Depository has now announced that they will close after April 26, 2023, as first reported by The Bookseller earlier today (paywalled). It will fulfil orders and provide support through June 23, 2023, and customers can still place orders online until midday (BST) on that day.
Considering Amazon’s recent activities elsewhere, and especially Andy Jassy’s confirmation that its books business would be hit by layoffs, none of this is much of a surprise.
Another U.K.-based camera review site, DPReview, that Amazon acquired in 2007 will be shuttered a few weeks back. Last year, Amazon announced it would close dozens of physical retail locations, including brick-and-mortar bookstores, as well as some cashierless Amazon Go locations. It is also winding down Amazon Drive, a consumer file-storage service.
Book Depository employs about 1,200 people, and it is unclear whether any of them will be redeployed. In a statement to TechCrunch, an Amazon spokesperson said they had “taken the difficult decision to close BookDepository.”
About Amazon Bookselling UK Business
The Book Depository (originally called The Book Depository) was founded in Gloucester, the U.K., in 2004 to compete with Amazon’s online bookselling business. It ships books to readers worldwide. Some feared that the acquisition signalled Amazon’s “stranglehold” over the U.K.’s online book trade, a fear that may have been justified. Although the deal was protested by the industry, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) eventually approved it, stating that Book Depository was not a true competitor.
From a branding perspective, Amazon hasn’t integrated Book Depository much. In fact, Book Depository’s website does not indicate it is owned by Amazon, as it also does with Goodreads, another similar acquisition it made in 2013.
Pay increases for Amazon UK workers
As Amazon struggles to recruit amid a labor shortage, it is increasing pay for British workers.
Online shopping giant Amazon is raising its minimum starting wage by 50p to between £11 and £12 an hour from April.
Coventry Amazon workers went on strike last week. Recent increases in pay have also been made by companies such as Costa Coffee and Tesco. During the past seven months, starting wages at Amazon have gone up by 10%.
Over-23s will also get a 9.7% rise – to £10.42 an hour – as the national living wage climbs. A GMB union representing Amazon Coventry workers called its pay offer “insulting”. Unions have been calling for £15 an hour.
Thousands of workers have walked out of work over pay, mainly because it is not keeping up with rising costs. The union will consult over the next few days and announce a new wave of action in response to Amazon’s announcement.
- Keeping pay competitive while cutting costs is a challenge for Amazon
- Kindle to close Book Depository, acquired by Amazon in 2011, on April 26
- The online bookstore Amazon acquired in 2011 will be shuttered.
As part of the deal, at least 27,000 workers across various divisions of the internet giant were laid off, including its highly profitable AWS cloud unit, books, and devices.