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Amazon sees rising sales of pepper spray, Black Lives Matter Merch

Protesters hold signs during a protest at Country Club Plaza on May 31, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jamie Squire | Getty Images

Amazon shoppers are filling up with pepper spray and Black Lives Matter merchandise as protests continue to erupt across the country, according to sales rankings on their website.

The e-commerce website lists self-defense articles, racial justice textbooks, and Black Lives Matter T-shirts as best-selling articles in several categories on its bestseller page.

The ranking shows that protests against police brutality are the focus of some consumers, as many of them are concerned with the aftermath of George Floyd̵

7;s murder in Minneapolis.

Cities across America continued to demonstrate in Minneapolis on Monday after a weekend of widespread protests against Floyd’s death by police officers. On Friday, Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck before his death, was arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter.

Pepper spray was the best-selling product in the Sports and Nature category, while a rechargeable taser was listed in 44th place. This shows that consumers buy self-defense items in protests that have become violent in some regions of the country.

The outrage at Floyd’s murder appeared in the “What’s New” section of Amazon’s bestseller site, where two “I can’t breathe” t-shirts were among the top 10 best-selling items. A Black Lives Matter shirt ranks 60th in Amazon’s best-selling clothing, which is a significant increase over last Friday when it didn’t appear among the 1,000 best-sellers in this category, said Juozas Kaziukenas, who leads the e-commerce Research company Marketplace Pulse.

In the “Books” category, “White Fragility: Why It Is So Hard For Whites To Talk About Racism” is listed as the best-selling article, while “How To Be An Anti-Racist” ranks third and “We Are Different, We” re the Same “takes seventh place.

Amazon’s bestseller page calculates top sellers based on sales volume according to the company’s website. Amazon updates the rankings hourly “to reflect recent and historical sales”.

It is unclear whether other factors are taken into account when determining bestseller rankings, e.g. B. the search volume. Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to Kaziukenas, Amazon tracks best sellers based on search volume, but the data is shared with providers and is not visible to the public.

Selling shirts from Black Lives Matter and other activism-inspired goods could be used as a donation for these purposes, Kaziukenas said.

“It is an opportunity for Amazon to donate this proceeds,” he said. “Amazon takes a cut from every sale. All of that should be donated if Amazon takes care of it.”

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