Amazon Has Launched Down Under And Aussies Aren't Impressed

Gladys Abbott
December 5, 2017

Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Rod Sims last week said the arrival of Amazon would be good for consumers, but less so for incumbent retailers.

Amazon said it planned to offer its rapid-shipping subscription service, Prime, in mid-2018, in a sign it is unperturbed by the geographic challenge posed by one of the world's most sparsely populated countries.

"While amazon will have an impact on the Australian retail landscape, based on my discussions with a wide range of market participants in the USA, I remain positive of the Australian retail sector".

Customer orders will be processed at Amazon's new fulfilment centre in Dandenong South. Amazon has said that "customers can enjoy free delivery on eligible orders above $49 that are sold by Amazon".

Furthermore, Aussie customers can also access Prime Video and Twitch Prime offerings from today.

Australians have known Amazon would one day open its electronic doors since April but there was no indication of exactly when it would happen.

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"We recognise that Amazon's entry will, of course, impact on the Australian retail landscape, but we view the current price weakness in Australian retail stocks as an over-reaction, given the strengths of major shopping malls, and their leverage to Australia's employment and population growth".

So despite predictions of rock-bottom prices, shoppers should still be wary of the total cost for Amazon Australia products after delivery fees are added on.

"Amazon had paid no taxes on retail in 23 years, they have never made a profit in retail in 23 years and they never will". Many products will ship out of a Melbourne-based warehouse the company began setting up months ago.

The e-commerce giant has already been selling Kindle e-reader devices, audio books and content from its Australian website but it has now activated its full- service local offering, featuring its own products and items sold by small local retailers.

"By tapping into our global experience and decade of learnings, we are excited to help Australian brands and retailers thrive in what will be a new retail paradigm in our market", Fowler says.

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