The moment Australian retailers have dreaded is here.
Amazon is expanding Down Under, opening warehouses that’ll enable cheap, fast local shipping, and letting small businesses sell goods through the site—a development an Amazon employee reportedly said would “destroy the retail environment in Australia.”
Shopping on Amazon.com is already available to Australians, but with international shipping and long delivery times, it isn’t a pleasant experience.
A spokesperson for the retail giant stated via email that Amazon is currently planning “to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace.”
He added, “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.”
But considering the U.S. company has allegedly been dubbed the “country killer” by analysts at Morgan Stanley, local retail competition is probably feeling a whole lot less optimistic right about now.
Justin Braitling, chief investment officer at Watermark Funds Management, foretold the internet behemoth’s 2017 arrival in the Financial Review at the end of last year, stating that an unnamed Amazon employee told him of their plans to “destroy” and saying “[Amazon] will be doing general merchandise and they will be doing fresh as well. They will also be putting physical stores on the ground which I don’t think anyone knows about.”
Reports have also indicated that Amazon has local trademarks pending for a bunch of products, like Amazon Echo. And of course, the launch of Amazon Marketplace will mean third-party retailers in Australia will be offered a new, convenient home base online.
As previously reported, research at Citi indicates that if Amazon enters the market in the next two years, they could reach A$3.5 to A$4 billion in sales within five years of launching, capturing around 14 percent of all online sales. Wow, way to dominate.
Let’s see how you fare when Alibaba increases its Australian presence, Amazon. #FightToTheDeath