The GoLocal movement has changed how Americans view their neighborhoods and it’s now common knowledge how our communities are preserved through jobs, livability, and diversity each time someone makes a local purchase. It’s a righteous cause, trying to preserve our communities by supporting the local retailers so that they can thrive. We walk our talk by buying local. San Francisco’s North Bay excels at this and the results are a livability that is admired worldwide. Yet, customers still succumb to internet convenience. Discount pricing can still trump a local sale, no matter how unsustainable it is in the big picture. The American Booksellers Association and Civic Economics just completed a study about Amazon that shows the impact of our choices, painting a picture that is beyond lost sales and addresses the loss in tax and property revenue as well as local jobs. Here are some of their stats:
- In 2014, Amazon sold $44.1 billion worth of retail goods nationwide, all while avoiding $625 million in state and local sales taxes.
- That is the equivalent of 31,000 retail storefronts, 107 million square feet of commercial space, which might have paid $420 million in property taxes.
- A total of more than $1 billion in revenue lost to state and local governments, $8.48 for every household in America.
- Amazon also operated 65 million square feet o fdistribution space, employing roughly 30,000 full-time workers and 104,000 part-time and seasonal workers.
- Even counting all the jobs in Amazon distribution centers, Amazon sales produced a net loss of 135,973 retail jobs.
Copperfield’s is one of hundreds of independent bookstores across the country that serve their communities directly and thrive because of it. But having battled our way out of the recession and the onslaught of online retailers, independent bookstores have new cause to be alarmed. You’ll be hard pressed to get a bookseller to utter the word Amazon, but sometimes “the company who cannot be named” must be finally called out, especially as Amazon recently announced their intent to open hundreds of bookstores across the country, essentially directly threatening the livelihood of independent bookstores.
To read the complete study, please click here.