Amazon is running a promotion which will give you an additional 5 percent discount when you use the Price Check app to compare prices in stores and not surprisingly, the retailers aren’t happy with this.
In a statement sent to GeekWire, the Retailer Association said that Amazon is already playing dirty and this additional promotion is just rubbing salt in the wounds. It essentially turns the retail stores into Amazon’s free showrooms, said Retail Industry Leaders Association spokesperson Katherine Lugar.
“Retailers compete on price 365 days a year, and at no time is that competition hotter than during the make-or-break holiday shopping season. However, by continuing to evade collecting state sales taxes, Amazon’s exploitation of a pre-Internet tax loophole is resulting in a 6-10 percent perceived price advantage over their competitors on Main Street.
Amazon’s aggressive promotion of its Price Check App shows the lengths they are willing to go to exploit this tax loophole, and is a stark reminder of why Congress needs to act to protect retailers on Main Street. A failure to act is an implicit endorsement of a subsidy of Amazon, a subsidy that distorts the free market and puts jobs on Main Street at risk.”
I’m not surprised by this statement at all, as you knew retailers wouldn’t like the promotion and I understand the beef. On the other hand, the world has changed and the Internet and mobile technology have disrupted the traditional business model of many brick and mortar stores. That doesn’t mean these all have to go away, as these companies just have to use their inherent advantages to create a better shopping experience and technologies like Shopkick and social media can help with that. Heck, we’re even hearing rumblings that Amazon wants to open some retail stores to better connect with customers.