American Booksellers Association and Civic Economics Release Amazon Report


The American Booksellers Association and Civic Economics publish:

Dissatisfied: Amazon and the U.S. Retail Landscape

A report outlining Amazon’s negative impact on local communities, just in time for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber ​​Monday

A new report from the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and Civic Economics reveals the costs and consequences for communities when people shop with Amazon. The report’s findings show Amazon’s impact in 2021:

• 136,000 retail stores have been relocated. 1.1 billion square feet of traditional retail space has been moved, resulting in empty storefronts across the United States

• Despite the suggestion that Amazon is creating jobs, 1.7 million retail workers and 70,000 distribution workers have been displaced.

• $367 billion consumers spent with Amazon rather than local businesses meant less money flowing into communities. Buying from independent booksellers creates 4 times more local economic activity than buying from Amazon.

“This report shows the costs and consequences for communities as Amazon continues to exclude small businesses. Our communities benefit in countless ways when we buy local and this report clearly shows just how much of a stake there is when we don’t. The impact is more than an empty storefront when a business closes. Our choices matter, where we spend our money and our communities matter. – Allison Hill, ABA CEO


ABA has long drawn attention to the cost and consequences of shopping with Amazon compared to independent local businesses:

#BoxedOut Marketing Campaign

In 2020, ABA launched #BoxedOut, a nationwide marketing campaign that went viral with 4.5 billion media impressions. The windows of independent bookstores were covered in cardboard facades, reminiscent of the ubiquitous Amazon brown boxes on porches and in lobbies across America, and quotes such as “Keep out of bookstores” and ” Books curated by a real person, not some creepy algorithm.” Hundreds of independent bookstores have taken to social media to start a conversation about the cost and consequences of “convenience” purchases and how the growing dominance of ‘Amazon in the marketplace negatively affects local communities: the erosion of jobs, a loss of character for our hometowns, and less money for the local economy.

Antitrust lobbying efforts

ABA is pushing for better enforcement of Amazon’s antitrust laws and regulations. An important national conversation about antitrust and monopolies is underway. California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against Amazon, accusing the online giant of anti-competitive practices to stifle competition, which ultimately drove up prices. The Federal Trade Commission, the agency charged with enforcing U.S. civil antitrust law and promoting consumer protection, would investigate possible antitrust violations by Amazon. And while Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) delayed introducing the U.S. Online Innovation and Choice Act (S.2992) for consideration and vote, the bill’s sponsor , Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), pointed out that she has more than enough votes in the Senate to pass the bill.

Sales tax collection

Historically, the ABA was the primary voice of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition demanding congressional action on sales tax fairness and Amazon sales subject to sales tax. Sales tax fairness has generated billions of dollars a year for state and local governments and a level playing field for small businesses.

Recent books

Two recently published books highlight Amazon’s issues:

  • How to Stand Up to Amazon and Why: The Fight for Local Economies, Data Privacy, Fair Labor, Independent Bookstores, and a People-Powered Future by Danny Caine, owner of Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas, and administrator of the ABA Board of Directors. Danny is available for interviews.

  • Checkpoint Capitalism: How Technology and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We Will Reclaim Them, by Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow.

About ABA

The ABA is a nonprofit trade association that supports more than 2,500 independent bookstores across the country.

About civic economy

Civic Economics is an economic analysis and strategic planning consultancy focused on helping communities build sustainable prosperity. For more information on Civic Economics and the Unfulfilled report, visit

Photo courtesy of Solid State Books, Washington, DC.

Graphic data source: Civic Economy

Media Contact
Company Name: Association of American Booksellers
Contact person: Ray Daniels
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Town: white plains
State: New York
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