The company has released this statement regarding its move to Australia:
Amazon Web Services launched an Australian region in 2012, we launched a Kindle Store on Amazon.com.au in 2013, and we now have almost 1,000 employees in the country. The next step is to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now. We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace.
We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most – low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery – over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers.
Amazon is yet to release an Australian launch date, however odds are it will be within the next 12 to 18 months with distribution centres in Melbourne or Sydney.
Larger retailers like JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman are expected to feel the biggest impact of Amazon’s arrival. Shares in both companies, as well as Myer and Super Retail Group, fell sharply following Amazon’s confirmation. However, these larger retailers have been anticipating Amazon’s move for a while and many have already started preparations by investing in loyalty programs, data analytics and in store experiences to combat Amazon’s hugely successful online retail model.
Amazon poses huge competition to larger, bricks and mortar retailers, in some cases even undercutting local prices by up to 30%. However, Amazon’s move could prove to be an opportunity for smaller businesses through its ‘Marketplace’ system, which is does plan to rollout with their Australian launch.
Amazon have stated that sales through Amazon Marketplace represent 50% of all items sold on Amazon websites globally and that there are already thousands of Australian businesses selling their products on existing Amazon Marketplaces. When this feature gets an exclusive Australian base once Amazon moves down under, it will provide a very lucrative online and international sales platform for small businesses.