Amazon to Launch Retail Operations in Australia

Amazon plans to "establish the first of many fulfillment centers in Australia, in a move that's sure to disrupt the local market," the Sydney Morning Herald reported, noting that the company is actively looking for a warehouse with floor space of up to 93,000 square meters (about one million square feet). The initial facility's location has not offically been announced, though the most likely contenders are Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne.

In a brief statement released yesterday, the company noted that Amazon Web Services launched an Australian region in 2012, a Kindle store debuted on in 2013 "and we now have almost 1,000 employees in the country. The next step is to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now.... We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace."

While no timetable has been revealed thus far, "Amazon's assault on local retailing will be on a platform of 'low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery.' The concept of one-hour delivery through Amazon Prime Now will be in Australia soon," the Morning Herald noted.

In a piece for the Age headlined "Amazon's arrival: how small businesses can compete with a retail Goliath," Chris Tantchev, co-founder of personalized book subscription service Bookabuy, wrote that "small businesses have the advantage of being able to develop a much more intimate relationship with their customers; a genuine relationship that doesn't rely on data gleaned from technology."

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