To avoid a potential fine of €1 million per day, Amazon shuts its warehouses in France for a week. This follows a French court ordering Amazon to limit its deliveries to essential goods. It also has to allow an inspection of the safety arrangements during the COVID-19 outbreak crisis.
Based on this order, Amazon decided to temporarily close all six French warehouses instead of limiting deliveries. The marketplace will apply for government support offering partial unemployment pay for its personnel.
“The company is forced to suspend all production activities in all of its distribution centres in order to assess the inherent risks in the COVID-19 epidemic and take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of its employees,” says the marketplace.
Based on comments from Amazon, the company seems to have taken measures. Despite that, company workers have still been complaining to unions. Amazon has been justifying all actions it has taken during the COVID-19 outbreak on the basis that it is prioritising the delivery of essential goods. In reality, it seems that, despite all announcements, consumers happily buy anything they want to keep themselves occupied during the lockdown.
Shutting down Amazon France warehouses has come into effect immediately, starting yesterday, April 16th. For merchants, this means that any stock in French warehouses is basically locked down. This concerns both retailers using Amazon France FbA and retailers using Amazon FBA Mulit-country Inventory. The latter group might not even know part of their inventory is in store in France.
Consumers can still buy on the French platform. It is likely Amazon falls back on its logistics organisation and will fulfil orders from other European warehouses.