ibusinesslines.com March 19, 2018

Retailers brace as Amazon launches in Australia

05 December 2017, 12:38 | Justin Tyler

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

"Focusing on customers and the long-term are key principles in Amazon's approach to retailing", said Rocco Braeuniger, Country Manager of Amazon Australia.

Amazon Australia at launch has a pretty good range including Chromebooks from $289.23 for the Asus C202SA which should make everyone a bit happier about Chromebook availability in Australia.

While Amazon's launch is likely to shake up the retail environment, the fact that it has just one distribution centre for the entire country means, at first, the service will not be almost as comprehensive as the U.S. or United Kingdom version.

The selection at Amazon.com.au includes products offered by large Australian brands, as well as small and medium-sized Australian businesses selling on Amazon Marketplace.

Free express delivery is available to overseas customers under subscription package Amazon Prime, which will not be available in Australia until mid-2018.

While Amazon's corporate offices, with 1,000 employees, are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and Perth, the company's new fulfillment centre in Dandenong South will be the nucleus for product distribution.

But, as prices are offered by many different retailers on Amazon's website, others were no cheaper than existing Australian department stores, and some were significantly more expensive.

"It's not like it was a surprise, but I'm very much hoping this is a catalyst for change".

Amazon Australia has confirmed it will officially launch today, ending weeks of speculation over whether it would hit the go button before Christmas.

It's assumed the categories on offer will be expanded in the coming month.

The site will also give users access to Prime Video, Amazon's answer to Netflix. "The result will be an ever-improving customer experience driven by the regular introduction of new products and services that we hope customers will love", Braeuniger added.

While recognising that the entry of Amazon will not be good for incumbent retailers, ACCC Chair Rod Sims has said it will be good for competition and therefore consumers.

Christmas shopping is a huge time for Australian retail with shoppers this year expected to spend up to $56 billion in the Christmas shopping period.

Amazon Alexa is the leading digital assistant on the market.

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