Sometimes words are difficult to find, so here are some figures to discuss

$34.2 bn – Amazon’s sales in FY 2010

$1.497 bn – Amazon’s pre-tax income/profit in FY 2010

£8.8 mn – Scottish Government/Enterprise grants to Amazon to move and expand their distribution centre from Glenrothes to Dunfermline ( 13th January 2011

£1.8 mn – Scottish Enterprise grant to Amazon for customer service centre in Edinburgh ( 25th May 2011

12% – Shop Vacancy Rate in Town Centres in Scotland according to the Local Data Company (Glasgow 17.8%, Paisley 23.5%) see

?? – how many book and entertainment retailers left on Scottish high streets.

Don’t get me wrong; I like, admire and use Amazon as much as the rest of us, but online retailers based in out of town locations compete with high streets and town centre retailers every bit as much as do the out-of-town superstores and big box retailers, the out-of-town cinemas and out-of-town offices.

An Amazon Tax anyone?

About Leigh Sparks

I am Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, where I research and teach aspects of retailing and retail supply chains, alongside various colleagues. I am Chair of Scotland's Towns Partnership. I am also a Deputy Principal of the University, with responsibility for Education and Students and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
This entry was posted in Consumer Change, Government, High Streets, Online Retailing, Retail Economy, Retail Levy, Retail Policy, Scotland's Town and High Streets and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Amazonia

  1. Adam Blackie says:

    I am curious.
    I assume the grant was to attract distribution services to Scotland and presumably the alternatives were elsewhere in the UK.
    Is this an example of competitive forces between UK regions leading to a sub-optimal UK wide result?
    I doubt that Amazon really needed any encouragement to set up somewhere in the UK, so did they find a way to subsidise their operations by exploiting UK regional competitiveness?
    Good post Leigh.

    • Leigh Sparks says:

      For those wanting to follow this line of thought up, the interview on STV with the First Minister is a good starting point:

      In it Alex Salmond makes the point that Scotland the quality of the labour in Scotland was the key issue followed by the speed of response of the inward investment and Scottish Enterprise teams. He claims other regions of the UK were prepared to provide more grants.

  2. Pingback: Clicks and Mortar by Amazon | Stirlingretail

  3. Pingback: Clicks and Mortar by Amazon: Blog Post by STP Chair Leigh Sparks - Scotland's Improvement Districts

  4. Pingback: Clicks and Mortar by Amazon: Blog Post by STP Chair Leigh Sparks – Scotland's Improvement Districts

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