Amazon.com Starts New Price Check App Much to the Annoyance of Retailers

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Amazon has annoyed retailers in the US with a new price check app that allows shoppers to get a discount on items via the online store if they find them to be more expensive elsewhere.

The row has broken out only days after James Daunt, the managing director of Waterstone’s, criticised Amazon – calling it a “ruthless, money-making devil”.
The new Amazon Price Check app and promotion, which is starting from this Saturday, will allow people to perform a price check on an item in a shop, by scanning in the bar code using the app on their iPhone or Android device. The online retail giant will then offer a $5 discount to shoppers who carry out this market research for it for free, on any item across the site, including the same item they wanted to buy in the first place.
The American Retail Industry Leaders’ Association issued the following statement about Amazon’s attempt to poach shoppers at the point of sale: “Retailers compete on price 365 days a year, and at no time is that competition hotter than during the make-or-break holiday shopping season. However, by continuing to evade collecting state sales taxes, Amazon’s exploitation of a pre-Internet tax loophole is resulting in a 6-10 percent perceived price advantage over their competitors on Main Street.
“Amazon’s aggressive promotion of its Price Check app shows the lengths they are willing to go to exploit this tax loophole, and is a stark reminder of why Congress needs to act to protect retailers on Main Street. A failure to act is an implicit endorsement of a subsidy of Amazon.”
It is expected that the same app and promotion will be rolled out around the world and affect UK retailers.
Source: Telegraph.co.uk | Emma Barnett