Amazon’s Australian DCs ready for action

At the opening of its Marketplace Seller Summit in Sydney on 13 November, the company announced that its Australian warehouse operations are kitted out and ready to go, with an official launch of the full Amazon site expected soon, in time for the Christmas rush.
Channel News reports that Amazon executives shared their belief that their arrival in Australia will drive sales for Australian manufacturers.
Roco Braeuniger, CEO, Amazon Australia, noted that the company will not sacrifice “long-term success for short term gains.”
“We intend to invest millions of dollars in the market and we will create hundreds of jobs,” he said, Channel News shared.
Fabio Bertola, responsible for Amazon’s local Marketplace operation and Italian operations, hinted at an imminent announcement.
“We are here today to help Australians get the best,” he said. “We are launching with both a retail and marketplace operation shortly. In Australia there is a lot of small businesses that we can engage with and we believe that we can deliver a global marketplace for these businesses.”
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.

AusPost debuts shipping program with free delivery until 1 January

Shipster, a new membership program powered by Australia Post, will enable shoppers to have online orders delivered for free in metropolitan Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane until 1 January 2018.
With a $9.95 membership, users will receive free shipping when spending $25 and up at participating stores – including Myer, Target, Cotton On and Toys R Us – as well as free delivery of one Deliveroo order each month.
“We know our customers love to shop online and this Christmas we expect more gifts to be bought online than ever before,” said Christine Corbett, Acting Managing Director and Group CEO, Australia Post. “Shipster lets you shop with confidence knowing that there will be no surprises at the checkout.
“With online shopping growing from 11.5 per cent to 15 per cent in the last 12 months, we’re predicting the busiest year for online shopping we’ve ever seen at Australia Post.”
Brands participating in the trial include Babies R Us, Booktopia, Harvey Norman, Kogan, Lorna Jane, MAC and The Body Shop.
Following the introductory period, Shipster membership will cost $6.95 per month, and continue to allow customers to receive free delivery where shipping costs less than $20.

Amazon has a long road ahead in Australia, says Harvey Norman chief

Gerry Harvey, one half of the founding duo behind household goods retailer Harvey Norman, has again aired his thoughts on Amazon’s arrival publicly.
Harvey told Fairfax Media that he doubts claims that the e-retailer will be up and running down under by 2018, citing his own experiences of obtaining permits to develop purchased land.
“Amazon to my knowledge haven’t even bought a block of land in Australia,” he said. “Let’s assume I buy a block of land tomorrow – I’ve got to buy it, pay for it, put in a development application.
“If that happens within three years, that’s very quick – and I read that Amazon is going to be fully operational in late 2018. For their model to work they would need 50 warehouses in Australia. Start with two – one in Sydney and one in Melbourne – and then it’s, how do you deliver? That’s the best-case scenario.”
Harvey added that Harvey Norman acquired land in Macgregor, Queensland, approximately 11 months ago and is still awaiting permission to build upon it.
“I know how long it takes,” he said. “I settled six months ago and I’m still trying to get council approval, [I] am hoping for approval within 12 months.”
The Sydney Morning Herald noted that Amazon has chosen commercial real estate company CBRE to help with its search for land, and is also expected to secure at least four large warehouses and a few smaller warehouses in Australia.

Harvey Norman founder on Amazon in Australia: the battle plan

Gerry Harvey, one half of the founding duo behind household goods retailer Harvey Norman, recently spoke out against the rise of Amazon, the fall of small businesses and why he’s confident Harvey Norman will weather the storm.
Speaking to 9news’ Eddy Meyer, Harvey bemoaned the lack of corporate etiquette present in Amazon’s operating practices that have led to its success at the expense of smaller enterprises. “In America, it is regarded as a very poor corporate citizen,” he said. “It sent a lot of other retailers broke that used to employ people. They used to pay taxes. Amazon pays virtually no taxes, and they just put a lot of people out of business.”
On Amazon entering the Australian market, Harvey explained that he is not worried for his business’ survival, even though he doesn’t expect the online e-commerce giant to play fair. “For years they’ve been sending goods into Australia with no GST, and we all pay GST. We have been subsidising Amazon for years, now they’re coming here to try and send us all broke. They’re not going to send Harvey Norman broke, but they’re going to be a pain in the backside.”
Norman stated that key to his company’s continuing success will be the service customers receive in store, same-day home delivery and price matching. “We will be competitive with them come hell or high water,” he said. “We are not going to lie down for Amazon and we will still make good profits and pay taxes, which they won’t.”
Norman has no delusions about the battle ahead, “[These] are fighting words,” he told Meyer. “Amazon’s coming here, they’re fighting me, okay? Make no mistake – I’ve got a gun in my holster too.”

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