Amazon Call For Expressions Of Interest From OZ Distributors
Australian audio and consumer electronics distributors who for months have been trying to work out how to communicate with Amazon, will today be able to lodge an ‘expression of interest with the giant US online retailer, after they formally announced their move into the Australian market.
According to investigations by ChannelNews several big CE distributors, who already sell to Australian retailers are set to sell goods direct via the Amazon marketplace.
The service, which enables third-party sellers to sell their own products alongside Amazon products could place distributors in direct competition with retailers they are currently selling product via mass CE retailers.
Here at the Hong Kong Fair several retailers are looking for new products to sell in an Australian, Amazon marketplace.
This week Amazon confirmed it is actively searching for a large distribution and fulfilment centre in Australia.
In a statement issued by Amazon the company said “Amazon Web Services launched an Australian region in 2012, we launched a Kindle Store on Amazon.com.au in 2013, and we now have almost 1000 employees in the country,” Amazon said.
“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.”
ChannelNews understands that that the Amazon operation in Australian will be primarily run by Amazon UK management.
The announcement by the global e-commerce giant also heralds a tough period for Australian retailers with one Harvey Norman executive telling ChannelNews that this is now “make or break time for retailers”.
“We have been loyal to a lot of distributors and we expect them to be loyal to us going forward” they said.
Currently 50% per of Amazon’s revenues come from third-party sellers, some of whom pay the e-tailer commissions and fees to store and deliver their goods under a service called Fulfilment by Amazon, which has been growing at 70% a year.
Among the retailers set to be hit is Kogan JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Myer, Dymocks, Super Retail, BIG W, Kmart and Target.
Recently Wesfarmers put their Officeworks business up for sale ahead of an Amazon launch in Australia. ChannelNews has been told that the big Australian retailer who owns Bunnings, Coles and Target is set to also sell K Mart alongside their Officeworks operation.
Amazon is also understood to be in talks with Australian logistics partners. Rather than partnering with a single company such as Australia Post, Toll or DHL, if its history in the United Kingdom is any guide it is likely to use multiple large and small providers to ensure fast delivery.
The AFR claims that Amazon could open small fulfilment centres or delivery stations in large shopping centres after it launches Prime Now and may partner with Australian food wholesalers and independent retailers to speed delivery of fresh foods when it launches Amazon Fresh.
Amazon could not confirm the timing of the launch of its wider retail offering in Australia.
ChannelNews understands that Amazon will open up more of their US and UK products to Australian consumers in 2017, before officially rolling out the Australian sites backed by their own local distribution operation in 2018.