Amazon Prime offers an alternative for Canada's North
On a Sunday afternoon in Iqaluit, Tejas Madhur assembles her latest piece of furniture – a cute, white vanity with bench for her bedroom. But instead of going to the North Mart or the Co-Op store down the street, Tejas bought her newest piece of furniture online through Amazon Prime.
It isn't the only thing she buys online. High prices at the local grocery store mixed with the lure of almost unlimited free shipping for a mere 80 dollars a year means Amazon Prime is becoming a favourite website for shoppers in northern cities like Iqaluit.
Aside from Amazon, the major way to get supplies in the north is the sealift - an annual shipment of non-perishable foods and supplies brought in by boat to save on costs. Amazon hasn't killed the sealift yet and probably won't. While major centres in the North like Iqaluit, Yellowknife and Whitehorse qualify for Amazon Prime, in 2015 the company cut the program for even more remote communities.
Jones also wants to capitalize on the one advantage Amazon doesn't have – they're physically in town – and they hire people who live here.