Home Business France sets minimum delivery fee for online book sales to help independent stores compete

France sets minimum delivery fee for online book sales to help independent stores compete

8 min read
Comments Off on France sets minimum delivery fee for online book sales to help independent stores compete
0
35


Article content

PARIS — France plans to impose a minimum delivery fee of 3 euros ($2.93) for online book orders of less than 35 euros to level the playing field for independent bookstores struggling to compete against e-commerce giants, the government said on Friday.

A 2014 French law already prohibits free book deliveries, but Amazon and other vendors such as Fnac have circumvented this by charging a token 1 cent per delivery. Local book stores typically charge up to 7 euros for shipping a book.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Article content

Legislation was passed in December 2021 to close the one-cent loophole through a minimum shipping fee, but the law could not take effect until the government had decided on the size of that fee.

“This will adapt the book industry to the digital era by restoring an equilibrium between large e-commerce platforms, which offer virtually free delivery for books whatever the order size, and bookstores that cannot match these delivery prices,” the culture and finance ministries said in a joint statement.

They added that France will notify the European Commission of its plan and the minimum delivery fee will take effect six months after the EU grants approval.

The culture ministry said the three euro fee – which includes taxes – could not be circumvented through customer loyalty programs or joint purchases of books with other items.

Advertisement 3

Article content

It added that for orders worth more than 35 euros, online vendors could still propose a one-cent delivery fee.

“The three euro delivery fee… is not dissuasive for book buyers and the 35 euro threshold will favor grouped orders, which is virtuous in environmental terms,” the ministries said.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The online retail giant has said that a fixed shipping fee would punish those in rural areas who cannot easily visit a bookstore and rely on delivery.

Bookshops in France have survived the rise of Amazon thanks to a 1981 law that prohibits price discounting on new books, but they say the U.S. online behemoth’s ability to undercut them on shipping still skews the market.

Advertisement 4

Article content

French bookstores association SLF said in a statement on Friday that the three euro fee was insufficient, as it means bookstores will still sell at a loss when expediting books to customers. It called on the government to lower French post office fees for shipping books by bookstores.

More than 20% of the 435 million books sold in France in 2019 were bought online and the market share of France’s 3,300 independent bookstores has been slowly declining because of competition from online retailers like Amazon, Fnac and Leclerc. ($1 = 1.0227 euros) (Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau and Geert De Clercq; Editing by Alex Richardson, David Goodman and Susan Fenton)

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Source link

Load More Related Articles
Load More By 
Load More In Business
Comments are closed.

Check Also

year JGB yield falls, longer-term notes keep rising

Article content TOKYO — The Japanese government bond market moved in mixed directions on W…