Amazon has announced that it will generate 2,000 permanent jobs in France this year. The country is the online retailer’s biggest market in Europe after the United Kingdom and Germany. With the new positions the total tally of permanent employees that Amazon has in France will rise to 7,500.
Since 2010 the Seattle, Washington-based e-commerce giant has invested more than 2 billion euros in the EU country. At the beginning of the month Amazon reached a settlement with the tax authorities of France following a dispute that has stretched for years. Tax authorities in the country had been demanding from Amazon close to 200 million euros.
Express delivery service
Amazon has been undertaking a steady expansion in France with the online retailer launching the express delivery service of Amazon Prime Now two years ago. Currently Amazon possesses five logistics centers spread across the country. Amazon is also in plans to unveil a delivery warehouse measuring 142,000 square feet this year.
The acquisition of Whole Foods Market by Amazon last year in the United States has led to speculation that the e-commerce leader will soon target the supermarket and food sector in Europe next. Notably the top retailer on the continent, Carrefour, has indicated that it will be laying off 2,400 employees in France as it ramps up investments in e-commerce. Carrefour is also seeking to partner with Tencent in China as it reels from competition presented by Amazon.
The announcement by Amazon regarding its expansion plans in France comes in the wake of reports indicating that Amazon Lending will be partnering with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. This will allow the Amazon unit which was unveiled in 2011 to reduce risks as well as access capital in order to offer credit to an increased number of merchants so that they can buy inventory.
Last year in June Amazon revealed that in the 12-month period that had just concluded, it had given out loans worth over $1 billion compared to loans of $1.5 billion for the 48 months prior to that. However in recent times Amazon Lending has been scaling back. Sources said that this was a deliberate move by the online retail giant as Amazon had probably found sectors offering better returns than merchant lending.
“It starts to become a return-on-capital question. Do I lend money and make a few percent on that capital invested, or do I take that capital and plow it into something like Whole Foods, which could give you a much higher return?” said co-founder of fintech firm Yodlee and Trinity Ventures’ investor, Schwark Satyavolu.