US giant Amazon announced it plans to launch both an online retail and a “marketplace” presence in Australia, confirming that its arrival is imminent in the buoyant local retail market.
In a conference in Melbourne, Amazon Australian country manager, Rocco Braeuniger said the e-commerce heavyweight was “getting really, really, really close” to opening trade, but failed to give an exact date.
Braeuniger did confirm, however, that when Amazon opens, it plans to sell products from first Australian warehouse, and also host third-party retailers on its online marketplace.
Right now, Amazon is in the process of converting a 24,000-square-metre warehouse in Dandenong South, in Melbourne’s outer east, into its first Australian fulfillment centre.
The company has already taken out trademarks on private-label brands that sell electronics, home wares, baby products, and pantry staples.
The company this week also booked out several photography studios around Melbourne for product shoots, according to local media reports, highlighting a push into fashion and accessories.
Amazon said it would wait, however, before taking on Australia’s grocery market, saying “it is really, really complicated to make fresh food delivery a great customer experience.”
“We have the long-term ambition to be successful and to earn the trust of Australian companies and the Australian customer,” Braeuniger told the crowd, made up of media and hundreds of small business owners hoping to sell their products on the website.
“We will be focusing on listening to the Australian customer, inventing on behalf of the Australian customer, [and] delivering a great customer experience.”
While a date has not been disclosed, experts predict the company will start taking orders before Christmas, particularly close to the Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping events on 24 and 27 November 2017.
For the three months ending 30 September 2017, Amazon Inc. said global revenues rose 34 percent to $43.7 billion in the third quarter. The world’s largest online retailer said net income rose to $256 million, or 52 cents per share.