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11/12/2017

Amazon’s Australian operation could be open for the holidays

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Amazon is about to make its debut Down Under.

While he would not commit to a specific date, Amazon’s country manager Rocco Braeuniger teased that the company is “really, really close” to opening in Australia. He also hinted that the company will ship goods from its first Australian warehouse in time for the end-of-year holiday season, according to Reuters.

According to the report, Braeuniger made the announcement while addressing 600 prospective product merchants at a suppliers’ summit on the Sydney waterfront. The event is held to encourage merchants to sell on its website.

According to another report from the Sidney Morning Herald, Braeuniger added that when Amazon does open, the rollout would be similar to those in other European markets. That said, the company will launch with a wide range of products and delivery options, in effort to build a local customer base. Once that customer segment is in place, then Amazon will consider introducing products like its fast-delivery subscription service Prime Now or the fresh food delivery AmazonFresh.

The new operation gives Australian shoppers the opportunity to buy merchandise locally, rather than place orders on Amazon’s Marketplace — a global marketplace for third-party sellers. Currently, more than 1,000 Australian companies sell their wares on the platform. However, shoppers can wait up to 12 days to receive merchandise — and be subject to hefty shipping fees.

By opening a 93,000 square m (Australian) warehouse in Melbourne, Amazon will stock "hundreds of thousands of products” ready to deliver to local customers.

In addition to shipping merchandise out of its new Australian warehouse, Amazon will continue hosting third-party retailers on its online marketplace.

The Australian operation will also put local brick-and-mortar retailers in the hot-seat to protect their sales. Earlier this month, Myer Holdings Ltd. cut its growth targets, citing weak trading conditions. Meanwhile, David Jones recently contributed to the first profit decline in eight years for its owner, South Africa’s Woolworths Holdings, Reuters said.