American Bookseller’s Association, July 29, 2013
On the heels of press reports that Amazon has drastically lowered the price on many hardcover titles, on Monday, July 29, the Board of Directors of the American Booksellers Association and CEO Oren Teicher criticized President Obama’s decision to hold his jobs speech this week at an Amazon facility in Tennessee. In a letter to the President, they called the choice of venue “greatly misguided” and explained that Amazon’s business practices have cost the country far more jobs than they have created.
“While Amazon may make news by touting the creation of some 7,000 new warehouse jobs (many of which are seasonal), what is woefully underreported is the number of jobs its practices have cost the economy,” Teicher and the Board wrote on behalf ABA’s bookstore members. “For you to highlight Amazon as a job creator strikes us as greatly misguided. As you’ve noted so often, small businesses are the engines of the economy. When a small business fails and closes its doors, this has a ripple effect at both a local and a national level. Jobs are lost, workers lose healthcare and seek unemployment insurance, and purchasing decreases.”
Teicher and the Board stressed that Amazon’s practices are detrimental to the nation’s economy. Pointing to figures released by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, they noted that every $10 million in spending that shifts from Main Street retailers to Amazon.com results in a net loss of 33 retail jobs. Based on Amazon’s own sales numbers, “that would mean … Amazon cost the U.S. economy more than 42,000 retail jobs just last year,” they wrote.