December 2, 2014

Boycott group says Amazon stands to lose millions


Amazon Anonymous estimates that Amazon will lose £2.5 million from a December boycott. © Amazon Anonymous

Amazon Anonymous estimates that Amazon will lose £2.5 million from a December boycott.
© Amazon Anonymous

Last month, the UK boycott group Amazon Anonymous put out a call for shoppers to refuse to shop from the behemoth of online retail. The campaign, called the Amazon Free Challenge, asked people to sign a petition promising to spend their holiday shopping money elsewhere, and the pledge so far has met with resounding support.

Amazon Anonymous sent out a press release on Sunday night stating that more than 10,000 customers answered the call to join the boycott that kicked off on Cyber Monday, December 1, and will continue through December 25. Based on information provided by the people who signed the petition, they estimate that Amazon will lose up to £2.5 million (close to $4 million) from customers in the UK.

The group was established about a year ago in protest of Amazon’s failure to pay its warehouse workers a living wage, with a further grievance this year over allegations of tax avoidance in the European Union (reported here by the BBC). Amazon Anonymous co-founder Bex Hay said in the statement to the press:

We are sending a strong message to Amazon, during their busiest time of the year, that if they don’t make a proper contribution to our society, we won’t give them our money. They don’t pay their workers a living wage. They dodge their tax. They take money away from our local shops. So this year, we’re taking our money away from them.

In order to help participants break the Amazon habit, the activist group published a list of alternative places to shop on Monday, the “Better Than Amazon” shopping guide. In conjunction with Ethical Consumer Magazine—which rates retailers on their treatment of their workforce and tax transparency—they’ve compiled a guide to Amazon-free shopping in categories such as books, DVDs, toys, and more. At the top of the books and toys section, they recommend supporting local stores, with links to help people find independent shops near them.


Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.