Amazon confirms retail launch in Australia

A Dick Smith store ahead of its final closure. Saeed Khan  AFP  Getty Images

A Dick Smith store ahead of its final closure. Saeed Khan AFP Getty Images

It is also hunting for a fulfilment centre spanning nearly 100,000 square metres in either Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Credit Suisse forecasts Amazon will achieve a market share of more than 5 per cent in many parts of the Australian retail sector within five years of opening.

Australians have already been able to use an Australian Kindle store on the Amazon website, which launched in 2012, and there are already nearly 1000 employees in the country.

The retail giant Amazon is expanding its operations in Australia, announcing plans to build the first of several large warehouses on the east coast to allow for faster local delivery.

"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", Amazon said.

Although Amazon has not discussed any plans to set up in New Zealand and there is no speculation that is imminent, Kiwi retailers are concerned by its move into Australia and what they say is an uneven playing-field.

So, there's no dates, but it appears there's a lot more meat behind the rumours of Amazon launching here in Australia.

Amazon, dubbed the "country killer" by analysts at Morgan Stanley, reportedly told Watermark Funds Investment chief investment officer Justin Braitling: "We are going to destroy the retail environment in Australia". That will also allow it to offer its Amazon Prime free shipping deal, where customers pay an annual fee ($99 in the US) and receive unlimited free shipping on all orders.

Amazon's distribution centre is tipped to be in either Melbourne or Sydney. Since launching in the United Kingdom and Germany, Amazon has overtaken all other local retailers in selling non-food goods. There are already thousands of Australian businesses selling their products on existing Amazon Marketplaces.

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