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Amazon extends store closings in France by two days

The American online commerce giant hopes to obtain an appeal on Tuesday for the court to lift the limitation of the activities of its distribution centers, decided because of risks linked to the coronavirus.

French websitesAmazon will remain closed for two more days, until Wednesday inclusive, the company said on Sunday April 19. The American online commerce giant hopes to obtain an appeal on Tuesday for the court to lift the limitation of the activities of its distribution centers, decided because of risks linked to the coronavirus.

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“We remain perplexed by the decision of the Nanterre court made last week and we look forward to hearing our appeal. We are temporarily suspending the activity of our French distribution centers”, explains the company in a statement sent to AFP.

The approximately 10,000 employees and temporary workers in six large warehouses in France are therefore expected to stay at home until the reopening on Thursday. They have been informed of the extension and a meeting with the Social and Economic Committee (CSE) is scheduled to take place on Monday. They will remain 100% paid, said the company, which has not applied for short-time working. Consumers retain the option of using the Amazon platform to purchase and have products delivered from abroad.

The court of Nanterre had ordered on April 14 to Amazon France to limit its activities to essential products (hygiene, medical products and food), under penalty of a fine of one million euros per violation found.

Seized by a union, the court had put forward several problems, including the turnstiles at the entrance of sites that create gatherings of employees not respecting distancing measures, ditto in the locker room, or the passage of packages from a employee to another who may transmit the virus.

Judging the distinction between the types of products ambiguous and facing the risk of being fined, Amazon had then announced that it was temporarily closing its distribution sites until Monday inclusive. The group said it would take the opportunity to clean up its warehouses and conduct a risk assessment against the Covid-19.

According to the Foxintelligence barometer of online commerce, Amazon's market share in this sector in France stabilized at 36% during the fourth week of confinement. Its annual business volume in the country reaches 7.73 billion euros, according to panelist Kantar.

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