This article was originally written and published by Ruth Cooper for Retailbiz.
Amazon.com Inc is "really close" to opening in Australia, its country manager said on Monday, as the US e-commerce juggernaut prepares to shake up an already-fragile brick-and-mortar retail sector in the world's No. 12 economy.
In contrast, under its "Amazon Marketplace" model, third-party retailers can list their products on the company's website and set their own prices, much like eBay.
Amazon Australia country head Rocco Braeuniger told the conference: "When are we going to launch?"
While he hinted that the company would wait to take on the fresh grocery market in the country, it is thought that Amazon will immediately seek to gain a wider retail market share but offering discounted prices.
At the event, executives from Koala Safe - which already operates globally on Amazon - reportedly said that they expect the arrival of Amazon in Australia to result in 15 per cent growth, and added that Amazon Australia was looking at a two-day turnaround in freight delivery.
"We are here today to help Australians get the best", he said.
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The event was organised in partnership with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the SME Association of Australia (SMEA) and was meant to explain how businesses, big and small, can use Amazon Marketplace to grow.
"We are excited to work with many thousands of Australian businesses to help them reach more than 300 million customers around the world and to grow their business", Braeuniger said.
This involves sending stock to an Amazon warehouse where it will be stored, picked, packed and delivered by Amazon.
Secrecy has been the name of the game since the retail platform confirmed in April it plant to take a tilt at the Australian market, and this didn't change even as suppliers attended an Amazon "Supplier Summit" in Sydney on Monday.
While Amazon said earlier that it would offer Australia its "marketplace" service, where retailers hire Amazon's infrastructure but run their own sales, Braeuniger said the company would also run its own retail unit, ordering and shipping its own product.
"FBA makes your job simple and you don't have to worry about sending to individual customers", said Bertola. "We believe FBA for Australian businesses will be the key to their success".
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