WHITE PLAINS, NY – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Jan. June 2021–
As the hopeful signs of life after the pandemic mount, many small businesses are still struggling to recover. And while the United States faced the worst economic downturn in nearly a century, Amazon’s operating income soared from $ 4.0 billion in the first quarter of 2020 to $ 8.9 billion in the first quarter of 2021, an increase of 123% corresponds.
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# BoxedOut campaign flowchart (Graphic: Business Wire)
Last year, during Prime Day, the American Booksellers Association (ABA), a not-for-profit trade association that supports 1,800 independent bookstores across the country, launched #BoxedOut, a national marketing campaign that received widespread coverage. The storefronts of independent bookstores were covered in cardboard cladding reminiscent of the ubiquitous brown Amazon boxes on porches and lobbies across America, and quotations like “Don’t open bookstores” and “Books curated by a real person, no creepy algorithm,” and Hundreds of indie bookstores used social media to start a conversation about the costs and implications of âconvenienceâ shopping and how Amazon’s growing market dominance is detrimental to local communities: job erosion, the loss of character in our hometowns , and less money for the local economy. Citizen Economy 2019 Prime numbers Study reports that 28 percent of all independent bookstore revenue goes straight back into the local economy, compared with just 4 percent when you shop on Amazon.
With Prime Day 2021 approaching, a major national conversation on antitrust and monopolies is already underway. A bill was passed in the US Senate and House of Representatives that would curb the monopoly power of Amazon and other dominant big tech companies. District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine has launched an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon to end practices that have raised prices for shoppers, stifled innovation, and restrained consumers, and the attorneys general of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, and New York Washington are reportedly investigating potential antitrust violations. And this week the Biden administration announced that the most prominent legal voice for effective antitrust enforcement in the 21st century – Lina Khan – has been appointed chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, the agency responsible for enforcing US civil antitrust law and the promotion is responsible for consumer protection.
Unlike Amazon’s record profits last year, more than one independent bookstore closed each week during the pandemic. Others have survived and, in some cases, thrived through resilience, innovation, and community support. Bookstores have introduced virtual event series, personalized FaceTime shopping, and Facebook live storytimes; local delivery and subscription services launched; opened pop-up locations and relocated their stores online; and provided community support through book collections, hotlines, pantries, voter registration, COVID testing, anti-racism resources and more. 32 independent bookstores have opened so far this year and thousands of readers will do so IndieBound.org and Bookshop.org every day to find their local bookstore. But bookstores, like many small businesses, are on precarious ground following the pandemic: facing unprecedented spending, supply chain disruptions, and security concerns, and in the weeks and months ahead will be challenged by inflation and labor shortages, and increased uncertainty.
Amazon is marketing its Prime Day event as two days of “epic deals,” but ABA’s #BoxedOut campaign returns to talk about what’s at stake. Danny Caine, the owner of the Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas, talks about the cost in his recently published book: How to Resist Amazon and Why: The fight for local economy, privacy, fair working conditions, independent bookstores, and a human-powered future.
In a recent comment, ABA CEO Allison Hill stated, âThis is a pivotal moment in history. When the pandemic subsides and we return to the social spaces that bring us together, we will decide whether to become a commodity or to be recognized as individuals. Independent companies across the country add diversity, character and humanity to our communities and need our support. Without it we are just another brown box. “
Founded in 1900, the American Booksellers Association is a national not-for-profit trade organization committed to the growth and success of independent bookstores. Our 1,800 bookstores act as neighborhood anchor; To offer a third meeting point, to promote authors and reading, to enrich the cultural life of the communities and to create economically vibrant neighborhoods.
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CONTACT: Caroline Andoscia, Andoscia Communications [email protected]
Dan Cullen, ABA [email protected]
KEYWORD: NEW YORK UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: ONLINE RETAIL RETAIL OTHER RETAIL
SOURCE: American Booksellers Association
Copyright Business Wire 2021.
PUB: 06/17/2021 4:41 pm / DISC: 06/17/2021 4:41 pm
Copyright Business Wire 2021.