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“My shop is in serious difficulty thanks to Amazon”
In 2016 my turnover grew by almost 20%, thanks to careful management of customer relations. However, already in December that year I noticed a slight fall in sales, which I put down to pessimism after a disappointing result in the referendum for constitutional reform. But I was wrong: the real reason was the arrival of Amazon. In Europe, the boom in online shopping is a new phenomenon, but we have already been hit. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t only affect shopping centres: it is increasingly difficult to find shops open in small and medium-sized towns. I ended 2017 with a 9% drop in sales. And the new year has got off to an even worse start. I had to dismiss my assistant, a smart girl whom the customers loved. But I had no choice. In Piacenza even the bars recorded the worst year ever: if people buy online they’re not walking around town. It seems absurd, given that according to the national statistics institute, consumer spending last year was up by well over 1%! I don’t understand why so few people in Europe (the problem is not just Italian) are realizing what is happening. When I opened the shop I was well aware of the business risks involved and knew that I would only stay afloat if I was good. I survived the post-2011 consumer crisis; but I would never have imagined losing customers to a virtual world, whose consequences are ironically all too real.
boom – a period of great prosperity or rapid economic growth
Question: What do you think about this story? Do you have any solutions for small shop owners losing business to internet retailers?
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