Amazon.com Inc’s Japanese unit raised the membership fee for its Prime service by 26 per cent on April 12, the first such hike since it was launched in the country 11 years ago.
The new annual Prime membership fee is 4,900 yen (USD 43.86) versus 3,900 yen previously, Amazon said in a statement. The e-commerce giant did not provide a reason but pointed to the growing number of services available to members.
Prime membership fees in Japan are far below the USD 119 annual fee in the United States, helping attract Japan’s thrifty consumers. The e-commerce giant has grown rapidly in Japan, exerting pressure on home-grown players like Rakuten.
While some companies are moving to hike prices in low inflation in Japan due to rising labour and shipping costs, they risk being shunned by frugal consumers....