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.