While there were some localized protests against Amazon, they ultimately didn’t make a difference in the day’s success, according to Fountain. The strikes weren’t large enough to create significant disruptions. Additionally, while Amazon’s name recognition makes it an inviting target for labor actions and protests, consumers don’t seem inclined to punish the retailer by choosing other e-Commerce merchants — particularly when Amazon often holds a price advantage.
Perhaps to counteract the negative PR, Amazon has recently upped its investment in both wages and training. These moves are likely to improve employee morale and increase employees’ mobility within the company and the retail industry as a whole. Amazon, which keeps its eye on the long game, has likely protected itself from an eventual rise in the minimum wage as well as other government labor regulations.
“I think the primary benefit is the possible avoidance of regulatory actions that might be taken to censure or punish Amazon if they are found to be in violation of any labor regulations,” said Micah Rowland, COO of Fountain in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “Along with this is the reduced energy and money that Amazon is likely having to devote to this issue, which might decline if worker conditions improve to the point where complaints are much fewer. The potential PR benefits get a lot of attention and thought in the press, but I don’t think they would make a meaningful difference in the business’ success .”