ONE OF the anger-inducing stories of the year so far was the revelation that Amazon has been destroying millions of pounds in unsold stock, even though it's perfectly good.
Food, electronics (including huge TVs), baby products were all seen being put into a trash compactor in an expose on French TV.
Now, after a wealth of pushback, Amazon has announced a scheme that will allow the unused stock to be donated, rather than destroyed.
The programme, called FBA Donations will allow third-party sellers using the Amazon warehouse for fulfilment to donate unwanted stock from warehouses in the UK or US.
From 1st September, donating will be the standard option for stock disposal, with goods only being destroyed if the seller opts out.
UK donations will be going to NewLife, Barnardos and the Salvation Army. Worthy causes indeed and although we'd like to see a few homeless charities and perhaps a refuge or two included, though we're fairly sure the scheme will expand in time.
"We know getting products into the hands of those who need them transforms lives and strengthens local communities," said Alice Shobe, Director, Amazon in the Community. "We are delighted to extend this program to sellers who use our fulfilment services."
A less charitable website might suggest that Amazon is only "delighted" because it got "caught", but we wouldn't be so cynical, though we should point out that we had to correct the spelling of the word 'fulfilment' for them.
Nevertheless, Amazon's immense power makes them far better placed than the vendors to get a distribution network for unwanted stock up and running, so the fact that it has done the decent thing is to be applauded.
There, Amazon - see? - we don't always criticise everything you do.
We're delighted to see Amazon do the right thing. It will mean that the needy and vulnerable will get much-needed products, and from an environmental point of view, it'll mean a lot less going into landfill. It's a win-win. μ
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