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Amazon Posts 26% Q1 Growth And Has Sites Blacklisted In The Same Day

Yesterday, Amazon both reported net sales growth of 26% in Q1 2020 and had five of its e-commerce sites blacklisted by the Trump administration on the same day. The US trade representative’s office added Amazon’s sites in the UK, Germany, France, India and Canada to its notorious markets register for facilitating the sale of counterfeit products.

In a responding statement, Amazon said: “This purely political act is another example of the administration using the US government to advance a personal vendetta against Amazon.” In the past President Donald Trump has publicly clashed with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.

For weeks Amazon has talked up its efforts to clean up price gouging and scams on its sites. Yesterday, the multinational company said that they have removed over 1 million offers from its stores for price gouging and suspended more than 10,000 seller accounts for violating fair-pricing policies.

File Photo by: zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx 2017 12/14/17

Nevertheless, Amazon was able to report a strong quarter. The company’s net sales totalled $75.7 billion, and are forecasting sales to reach $75bn-81bn in Q2.

However, Bezos has warned shareholders that the difficult environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will equally hike operating costs.

“If you’re a shareowner in Amazon, you may want to take a seat, because we’re not thinking small,” Bezos said. “Under normal circumstances, in this coming Q2, we’d expect to make some $4 billion or more in operating profit. But these aren’t normal circumstances. Instead, we expect to spend the entirety of that $4 billion, and perhaps a bit more, on COVID-related expenses getting products to customers and keeping employees safe.”

Source: Amazon presentation of Q1 2020 earnings

In the investor announcement Bezos promised higher wages for hourly teams, though the company is notorious for its mistreatment of employees.

Still, many aspects of Amazon’s business are expected to continue to thrive during the COVID-19 crisis, with more people shopping online and consuming content at home. The Amazon Prime Video Store was launched in Australia this week.

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