In the News: ILSR’s Independent Business Initiative
December 15, 2021
Media Outlet: The American Conservative
As a June 2021 fact sheet from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance makes clear, Amazon’s marketplace dominance—the company now accounts for over 40 percent of U.S. ecommerce sales—has been predictably catastrophic for small businesses: “As Amazon has grown, the number of independent businesses has fallen. Between 2007 and 2017, the number of small retailers [under 500 employees] fell by 65,000. About 40 percent of the nation’s small apparel, toy, and sporting goods makers disappeared, along with about one-third of small book publishers.” It is hard to see a whopping 40 percent decline in a mere decade as anything less than an act of commercial genocide. Even as it gobbled up independent vendors and left them with few options but to sell through its platform, Amazon has tightened the screws, ratcheting up its own commission on sales from 19 percent in 2014 to 30 percent in 2019. Feeling that squeeze, only 11 percent of Amazon sellers report that their businesses on Amazon have been successful; the vast majority of third-party sellers that choose to hawk their wares through Amazon’s platform are dead and buried within a few years’ time.
Read ILSR’s Amazon research here.