Amazon: a positive impact for the French economy
Amazon: a positive impact for the French economy
Over the past twenty years, we have been dedicated to serving our French customers. While we focus first and foremost on our customers, we also pay the greatest attention to our local impact. By putting our energy, know-how and capacity for innovation at the service of the French population, we are contributing to the prosperity of the French economy.
As this year we celebrate two decades of activities in France, we wanted to share a snapshot of our broader economic impact in France, including our tax contributions and how we contribute to French businesses growth and territorial development while being environmentally responsible.
Our contribution to economic growth and employment in France
France has become very important for Amazon. Over the past two decades, we have established a strong relationship with tens of millions of French citizens who rely on us every day. It is for our French customers we have made direct investments in our French businesses of more than €9.2 billion between 2010 and 2019.
This includes both infrastructure building and operating expenditures (including the salaries we pay). We think both are important, because both generate growth and have a positive impact on the economy. Keystone, an independent macroeconomic consultancy, also estimates Amazon’s investments have created €13.5 billion in value-added GDP in France.
As a result of our investments, Amazon has become a major job creator in France. If you combine our direct employment with these indirect employment effects, this means that Amazon enables employment for more than 130,000 people across France. At the end of 2019, we directly employed more than 9,300 people in France (with permanent contract), including at our corporate office in Clichy, AWS data centers and our logistics sites (fulfillment and delivery stations) across the country.
In addition to our direct job creation, tens of thousands of indirect jobs (with permanent contract) have been created as a result of Amazon's activity in France. Keystone estimates that companies in Amazon’s supply chain (including in construction, transport, building services and hospitality) have created more than 110,000 jobs in France. Small businesses and entrepreneurs using the tools and services we build to help them grow—especially by selling their products on Amazon.fr—have also created more than 13,000 additional jobs in France.
At the occasion of the inauguration of our new fulfillment center in Senlis, on October 14, Senator of Oise Jérôme Bascher commented: “It is a pride that an emblematic company of the 21st century’s economy has chosen Senlis and its 2,000 years of history. Amazon also represents a source of jobs that should be made to prosper in this ideally placed area of activity”.
Our contribution to French small and medium-sized enterprises growth and territorial development
From its very beginnings and particularly since the launch of its selling partner's website, Amazon has constantly innovated to offer new services and features that foster a responsible economy benefiting both small and large businesses and regions throughout France.
“ Online and offline retailers should stop battling each-other. Digital can be a benefit for local shops. Lockdown has accelerated the steady onset of online shopping that has proved how beneficial it is, both socially and for the economy. Our research shows that bricks-and-mortar retailers, which also sell online, have seen a real increase in sales,” said Marc Lolivier, general delegate of the Federation of E-commerce.
Our business provides opportunities for the tens of thousands of FR-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who sell their products in Amazon’s stores across the world and use our tools and services to help them grow. Around 70% of these businesses selling through Amazon Stores export to customers all over the world, and in 2019 alone they achieved total export sales of more than €350 million.
" We've been working with Amazon for over 10 years and it's turned out that every time they introduce a new service, our sales get a boost. Ever since we signed up to Amazon Business, our average shopping basket has jumped 52 percent for France and around 40 percent for elsewhere in Europe,"
Many of these selling partners are located outside of Paris and Ile-de-France, in regions such as the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Occitanie, Grand-Est or Centre-Val de Loire where our first site is located and where it is estimated that Amazon’s investments of €400+MM have created over 18,500 job opportunities, according to Keystone findings.
To keep accelerating the growth of France-based enterprises, Amazon has just launched a new storefront [link to the dedicated article to be added] designed to help customers to shop exclusively from businesses across France. Through videos and portraits, customers will not only be able to find and discover products from French craftsmen, startups, innovators, small and medium enterprises, but also participate actively in the dynamism of the French economic fabric.
Amazon's business does not just contribute to the growth of SMB’s selling on our stores. Our activity, which is spread throughout the territory, also fuels the activity of many other small and medium-sized businesses. The Ansamble adventure is just one example among many:
In 2016, we started to worked together with Amazon to develop a catering solution for Amazon in Saran. To satisfy their 1,500 employees on site, we offer homemade meals, made from seasonal, fresh and local products. Our collaboration has developed and over the years, and Amazon has become a key contributor to our development: we now offer our catering services in 4 Amazon logistics sites in France, and we employ about forty people who work specifically our partnership with Amazon,
Finally, our contribution to the French economy also consists in reducing the territorial divide, not only because we create more jobs in the regions than in the Paris area but also because we offer rural residents a selection of products and prices that are identical to those offered to city dwellers, despite the different delivery costs.
Our contribution to the financing of public services and the French welfare system in 2019
As we continue to make investments in our FR operations and our growing workforce, we are increasingly contributing to the financing of public services and the French welfare system. The taxes and levies that are collected by the State authorities from Amazon as a consequence of our activities in France fall into two categories:
- Directly incurred taxes: the taxes that are directly incurred and payable by Amazon. They include in particular Corporate Income Tax (Impôt sur les Sociétés), local taxes, digital service tax, payroll taxes paid by employers (cotisations patronales…)
- Indirect taxes collected and remitted: the taxes we collect from our customers, employees and other third parties because of our business activities in France and remit to the French authorities. They include VAT and payroll taxes borne by our employees but withheld and remitted by Amazon (cotisations sociales salariales including CSG and CRDS).
It’s important to understand both of those categories, because focusing narrowly on one aspect of taxation, such as Corporation Tax – which according to some recent research conducted by the OECD, accounts for only around 4% of total tax revenues from taxpayers in France – doesn’t tell the whole story.
Having clarified these points, we are sharing the revenue and tax amounts corresponding to all of Amazon's French activities, as we already did last year. In 2019:
- The total revenues of Amazon’s activities in France were approximately €5.7bn (2018: approx. €4.5bn)
- Our total tax contribution, taxes and levies collected by the French State (combining direct and indirect) was more than €420m (2018: €250m).
- Over €230m (2018: €150m) of this is what we incurred directly as a business on items like corporate tax, employer payroll taxes, and other local taxes.
Amazon's contribution to the financing of public services and the French social security system amounts to hundreds of millions of euros each year.
Our contribution to protecting the environment
Ensuring the preservation of our environment is a core value for Amazon. In 2019, Amazon became the first signatory to The Climate Pledge, a commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040 – a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement. We will achieve this through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy (100% by 2025, five years earlier than previously planned), materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.
To further advance this goal, we also announced an investment in 100,000 electric vehicles (the largest ever order of its kind) and the launch of the Right Now Climate Fund, committing $100 million to restore and protect forests, wetlands, and peatlands around the world.
In 2019, we also announced The Climate Pledge Fund, which will further accelerate investment in innovations for the low-carbon economy of the future. This dedicated investment program—with an initial $2 billion in funding—will invest in visionary companies whose product and service solutions will facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy.
These commitments are also evident in our investments in France. To reduce the footprint required for our operations, we are able to build more compact constructions - our site in Brétigny-sur-Orge is built on three floors and spans about 150 000 square meters but has an actual footprint is of 50 000 square meters. This optimization helps reduce the use of land. With our Senlis France location, we are also inaugurating a new generation of fulfillment centers, including the latest energy efficiency and resource consumption advances. We are introducing sustainable packaging initiatives focused on reducing packaging waste across our suite of packaging.
We are evaluating a number of delivery options in France to get packages to customers in a sustainable way, and are closely working with our delivery service partners on this important matter. In France, we already have EV deliveries in some urban centers like Toulouse, Lille, Annecy or Montpellier. We plan to extend our EV existing charging capacity in the coming months with the installation of hundreds of charging stations for our employees and drivers in our delivery stations.
A dedicated website already allows all citizens to measure our progress in implementing our commitments: the data that we communicate there are audited and certified by independent firms.
Our contribution to helping France through COVID-19
The figures set out above relate to our performance for the full year to 31 December 2019. However, during 2020 and throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve learnt how important Amazon has been to our communities and customers. With our scale and ability to innovate quickly, we’re supporting other efforts in France and around the world to address the crisis, including AWS working closely with the World Health Organization to accelerate the effort to track the virus, understand its outbreak and to better contain its spread.
In France, Amazon has donated €3,5 million to support those who are most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, providing several million masks to the Ministry of Health, to hospitals and to nursing homes, as well as enabling many of smaller companies to sustain and even grow their businesses during this challenging time. And while we’re supporting small and medium-sized businesses across France, we’re also continuing to ensure our employees working in our fulfillment centers, sort centers, delivery stations and on the road are kept safe, investing in more than 150 measures since March.
It means we’ve provided our employees with more than seven million pairs of gloves, more than seven million units of face-masks, 27 million packs of disinfectant wipes and over 1.5 million liters of hand disinfectant to ensure we keep them – and our customers – safe.
Twenty years since our French launch, Amazon’s contribution to the French economy is both real and long-lasting and we are deeply confident in the fact that the story is only just beginning.