Already established in 30 cities around the world, Amazon’s Prime Now is a godsend for those not willing to wait the two days Amazon Prime gives its members for free delivery. One of those cities is Paris — a recent addition to the Prime Now family — but, unfortunately for Amazon, its mayor is not all too thrilled about it, reported France 24.
In a letter released to the public, Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s office lashed out against Prime Now’s availability in the city, claiming the delivery service will upset Paris’ “commercial balance.” Furthermore, Hidalgo chastised Amazon for informing her office only days before it launched Prime Now in Paris.
“This operation risks seriously upsetting the commercial balance in Paris,” wrote Hidalgo’s office. “This large American company did not see fit to inform Paris until a few days before the launch.”
On the first claim, Hidalgo believes that Prime Now is unfair competition for local shops, since the delivery service will force them out of business unless there is some sort of legal oversight.
As such, Hidalgo called on Amazon to “guarantee that its approach fully respects local Parisian businesses and takes into account the absolute necessity of preserving their diversity.” The mayor also called upon lawmakers to “define legal safeguards to prevent such services from constituting unfair competition for businesses and artisans.”
Olivia Polski, one of Paris’ deputy mayors, supported Hidalgo’s claims, arguing that Prime Now is a threat to local businesses, reported The Guardian. “At first sight, it can seem very good news to have a new shopping service, except that it’s not a real shop and it is not under the same constraints as other businesses,” said Polski during a recent radio interview.
Prime Now, part of Amazon’s yearly Prime membership, will offer Paris residents over 4,000 food and household items, and have them delivered within two hours. Residents will also have the option of paying a little extra for having items delivered within an hour of their purchase.
According to the co-president of the French Federation of Business Associations Jean-Luc Gosse, however, it is Hidalgo’s fault for not properly anticipating Prime Now’s expansions into Paris. After all, Prime Now expanded to 26 U.S. cities, as well as London, Rome, and now Paris, since its launch in New York City back in 2014.
Gosse believes that services like Prime Now, if not kept in check, will disrupt the integration of Parisian youth into society, since “the first job for nearly one in two young people is working in retail.”
Digital Trends reached out to Amazon for comment and will update accordingly.
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