Amazon says it’s slashing Prime delivery times to Yellowknife


Amazon says Prime customers in Yellowknife will now receive packages “in an average of five days,” down from a previous average reported by the company of 10 to 12 days.

Whitehorse customers will also receive speedier Prime delivery, Amazon said in a Monday news release, though the company did not specify what change it had made to facilitate faster speeds.

Amazon’s business practices, already facing sustained scrutiny, have been further questioned after workers died at an Illinois warehouse during tornadoes earlier this month. As a result, some residents in various cities – including Yellowknife – have encouraged others to avoid shopping with Amazon in protest at what they see as exploitative behaviour toward employees.

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The City of Yellowknife staged Made in Yellowknife Day on Saturday in part as a response to the pandemic-induced crumbling of the supply chain that powers sales giants like Amazon. The day-long promotion sought to reward residents who shopped with local artisans.

However, the reality is that Amazon is relied upon by many to provide goods that otherwise cannot be readily procured in the North.

While Prime delivery times may be dropping in Yellowknife, using Amazon in smaller communities can be far more difficult.

In 2015, Amazon withdrew free Prime shipping to many NWT communities, blaming “the economic and shipping complexities in remote locations.”

Five years later, the company agreed a deal with Inuit-owned airline Canadian North to keep Prime and faster delivery speeds in Iqaluit.

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However, Monday’s news release – noting that 2020 deal – misspelled the airline’s name, referring instead to “Canada North.”