While Amazon already has been doing business in Australia since November 2013, the website was often a disappointment to the country’s consumers because it is essentially an extension of the U.S. website.
That means almost all of the merchandise is shipped from the United States, which translates into exorbitant shipping fees. Adding to the disappointment is that a lot of the merchandise wasn’t even available to Australian residents.
That will all be changing next year.
The e-commerce giant will be establishing local distributors, suppliers and warehouses. The arrangement is expected to allow Australians the same Amazon experience Americans enjoy without the additional fees.
The roll out was supposed to happen in March, but Amazon decided to add fresh produce to its inventory and the launch has been delayed until September. But that isn’t the only surprise.
The chief investment officer at Watermark Funds Management, Justin Braitling, told the Australian Financial Review that he’d been briefed by someone within the Amazon organization, though he declined to name names. But the information he revealed was extremely interesting.
Not only did Braitling confirm the timing and the inventory details, he added some new ones. The Australian Financial Review reported that Braitling said:
“’They will also be putting physical stores on the ground which I don’t think anyone knows about. These will mainly be in regional areas because fulfilment is a lot harder in regional areas than in the cities.
We spoke to the guy rolling out Amazon’s business here in Australia and in his words: “We are going to destroy the retail environment in Australia”.
They have decided they want to do fresh at the same time as the general merchandising offer so that has put them back six months. They want to roll the whole thing out at the same time.’”
Probably not the best news Australian retailers have ever heard. Although, if they become sellers on Amazon, it may lead to more sales. It won’t really be clear how this will play out until after everything is actually in place.