Money Amazon yet to announce firm date for Australian launch

08:56  14 november  2017
08:56  14 november  2017 Source:   MSN

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It’s the question consumers have been asking for months. When will online retail giant Amazon launch its Australian operation?

Today, we received a hint from the secretive company.

Not an exact date. It simply told retailers that it would be “either before or after Christmas.”

Yep, that helps a lot.

While it wouldn’t say when, Amazon did invite some 600 smaller Australian retailers to a sellers’ summit in Sydney - a sales and marketing session to outline how it will launch in Australia.

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Its Australian manager told the gathering that, when it opens, it will sell products out of its own warehouse, which it will deliver. It will also allow retailers to sell their products from Amazon’s online marketplace platform, which they will have to deliver.

9NEWS wasn’t allowed into the meeting - Amazon is nothing if not cagey.

Executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, was at the summit. He says he has a real sense that Amazon is serious about Australia, and is also optimistic about what it will mean for retailers here.

"We never believed that Amazon will decimate retail," he said. "We've always believed that Amazon is here to assist the retailers of Australia to grow and develop their businesses both locally and internationally."

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Larger retailers, such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, may not agree. They’ve been developing strategies for months to counter the juggernaut that is Amazon.

But smaller retailers can see the opportunities.

9NEWS spoke to three such retailers, who’ve each been selling their goods on Amazon’s US and European sites.

Regina Peterburgsky, Michelle Gay and Lindsay Lewis were keen to attend today’s session, hoping to hear when they’ll be able to sell locally on Amazon.

They didn’t get a date, but are eager nonetheless.

Ms Peterburgsky operated a retail store for many years, and then began selling her goods on the Amazon Marketplace.

"I started on Amazon two years ago and within 12 months, I decided to close my retail store and now I work from home, purely selling on Amazon,” she said.

Ms Gay said Amazon had allowed her to tap into a global marketplace she wouldn’t have otherwise had access to.

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Ms Lewis agreed, adding that it offered retailers a way to double dip.

"They have an online platform and a captive audience already to sell to, as well as people coming into their bricks and mortar store. I think it’s a double opportunity,"she said.

Retailers such as these will be critical to Amazon’s roll-out in Australia.

By giving them an immediate platform to sell their own goods under the Amazon banner, it gives the company more time to get its distribution network up running through its so-called "Fulfilment Centres" . It’s already getting its first underway in Dandenong in Victoria.

While Amazon wouldn’t reveal a launch date, speculation has been running rife.

Retail analysts believe it could be within the next couple of weeks to coincide with the huge online sales events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

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