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Image from an Amazon television ad highlighting small and medium sized U.S. businesses
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Image from an Amazon television ad highlighting small and medium sized U.S. businesses
Credit: Amazon »

Amazon highlights small U.S. businesses as international competition looms


Amazon has long allowed third parties to sell stuff on its platform. A few years ago, it opened the door to sellers in China.

The flood of foreign sellers has made it hard for some small U.S. companies to stay visible on the site.

Now, Amazon has a plan to make it easier for them. The new program is called Amazon Storefronts.

It does not help customers find local businesses near them, but it does highlight small and medium sized businesses that sell their merchandise on Amazon's site.

Take for instance the artisan soap manufacture in Michigan featured in an Amazon television ad that kicks off the campaign. “This is the Little Flower Soap Company," says the narrator. "These are the owners, Holly and Justin.”

The storefront campaign launched the day after the Wall Street Journal alleged Chinese companies were bribing Amazon employees for more prominent placement on the site.

Amazon is investigating the allegations.