The position of Jersey (Channel Islands) as an ecommerce hub is becoming increasingly more contentious as the major online stores such as Tesco, WHSmith and MVC switch their fulfilment services to the Island to take advantage of its VAT free status.
But now local retailers are fighting back and lobbying hard for things to change. Marcus Quinn from www.foxy.co.uk is an example of a local success story that is flourishing despite the competition, but his view of the business practices employed by Tesco and friends is scathing.
“They have no business being over here. They provide nothing to the local economy. They pay no tax and employ no local people. They are essentially parasites.”
Quinn, whose company employs around 15 local staff, sees the UK operations operating from Jersey as being involved in nothing more than an elaborate tax dodge.
“Employing local people is expensive and hiring premises even more so in Jersey. We are a beautiful Island with a high standard of living and wages and rent costs reflect this. But the UK shops simply keep a token presence in the Island to avoid tax. They have none of these extra costs”
However despite the disadvantages some local companies do succeed. Play.com is the largest etailer in Europe and is a locally owned business. Similarly www.foxy.co.uk has enjoyed significant growth and continues to do grow rapidly.
“We believe that it is customer service that sets companies apart” said Quinn. “We know that no people are more friendly and helpful than Jersey people and we ensure that we only hire top class staff. This way we have the edge over the supermarkets. We provide something that they can or will not and that gives us a competitive edge”