Confirmed: Amazon Retail Is Officially Coming To Australia

After months of speculation, Amazon has provided an official statement (finally) confirming the company will be launching retail services within Australia.

Last month, Amazon's former global logistics senior manager, Brittain Ladd, confirmed that the company's shopping rollout would soon include Australia - describing the country as "an attractive market" and stating Amazon would be launching "as many services and products as possible within Australia".

The below statement, provided to Gizmodo Australia, is the first official one from Amazon on the expansion.

"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 1,000 employees in the country," the statement reads.

"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."

"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."

Recent expert analysis predicted a shocking result for Australian retailers within the first five years of Amazon entering the local market. We're talking major losses for JB Hi-Fi, Myer and Harvey Norman.

The figures are so damning that Harvey Norman may have already lost market value in part based on the analysis, with Gerry Harvey taking a $100 million hit to his personal wealth. The analysis, conducted by Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse, found Amazon setting up shop in Australia could directly result in Myer losing anywhere up to 55 per cent of its earnings over the next five years.


Comments

    Boohoo to the Australian companies that have been ripping us off for years. I hope you all close because you're​ just greedy fucks.
    That being said, I do like JBHIFI and hope they survive because they at least tried to be reasonable with their prices.

      I get the hate for Harvey Norman but what about the employees that will lose their jobs. It's not fair to them.

        last time i went to HN to purchase a phone... the guy there was talking to his friend about this girl he picked up last night... i was standing for 15 minutes, flashing cash around, went to him, and he turned his back.

        spoke to a manager, went to JB HiFi and was done in 5 minutes

          Hi,

          Stores like Myer, Good Guys and, Target and Harvey Norman have been in positions of retail power based solely on lack of competition in business models compared to the rest of the world, Australian retail is in the 90's.

        I'm more concerned for the welfare of the people that will be working for Amazon.

        'Fair' has nothing to do with this. An entire industry cannot be held back because of a few [hundred… maybe thousand] people with limited job prospects. Amazon is, in this sense, the answer to problem created by their employer.

        Where were the bleeding hearts when the 457 visa was the tool for decimating the local IT industry? I say it's retails turn to feel some sting.

      I don't understand why everyone thinks Amazon will have cheaper prices, they will be playing by the same rules, same local costs.

        Amazon are very aggressive with pricing. This is why stores like gamestop in the states (EB games here) is struggling. It be interesting to see how EB do hold up once Amazon is here.

          I hope EB go out of business almost immediately. They are over priced on new stock, bloated with pre owned stock and deceptive/manipulative with selling practices. Amazon will cut them off at the knees with lower prices, better service and the "wow" factor to entice even the staunchest of EB's long suffering customers to question why they are paying so much for games. I for one cannot wait to welcome our new corporate over lords and relish the savings this will bring to the Australian video game marketplace.

            Yeah, I won't shed any tears for EB's demise. I feel for the staff that would lose their jobs but there are always other jobs and that Stockholm syndrome needs to be broken.

              As someone who is also a game collector, ie, I never trade in, I honestly feel bad shopping somewhere I'm negatively effecting the KPI's of employees being pushed to hound me into trading all my damned games.

                I'm the same, I don't sell or trade games I've bought. I keep everything.

            I think even without Amazon EB would be struggling with the amount of competition they have with JB, Big W and Target. I would suspect that EB will be shutting down stores by six to twelve months time.

              The thing is Dan, people just go to EB and get them to price match. If this keeps happening will stores like Big W & Target continue to offer lower priced games if no one is buying them? I for one like to support the best price going so I'll buy it from there every time. I can only imagine this only works some of the time with EB's gestapo like tactics of doing everything they can to get out of having to sell games for a reasonable price. They're also introducing more and more exclusive editions that eliminate price matching all together. Of course they are transitioning to more pop culture based stock with Zing as video game sales will decline as we move closer and closer to digital media.

              Not sure Big W or Target are big threats. Both have pretty small presence in terms of games. Good for the day one releases but otherwise they can be patchy. They also don't compete in EBs hugely lucrative second hand market.

              JB is a closer competitor but I think the market can support two players. Also EB has done a lot to diversify with products that other major local retailers don't stock, particularly with its Zing brand so there's some resiliency there. If anything their smaller store footprint and in turn ability to be a bit more focused and nimble to me puts them in a better position to Amazon so far as gaming goes. EB will likely still get many of the exclusives since thats a focus for them.

              That and now days I rarely find JB to be cheaper for console titles anyway. I'd rather shop at EB than JB if I'm looking for physical games.

              The threat to EB isn't retailers I don't think but more that Sony or MS one day decides they are done with physical distribution and go entirely digital. Sony tried that with the PSP GO and EBs response was to not stick the system. That was a system that was faililing though locally and if a similar thing happened to a major console that'd really shake up their structure.

              Some way away, but it's not implausible that it'll happen one day.

              Last edited 22/04/17 3:17 pm

                If you think EB are cheaper than JB for games you really aren't looking hard enough at what the prices are. Besides the internet is cheaper than both so we should all be buying our games from there.
                Amazon get exclusives already and they are way less than EB's so called RRP. I can't wait to see if they sell them at massively reduced prices here undercutting EB's inflayed prices.

                  I didn't say they are cheaper, I said both are frequently selling games at RRP now days and that JBs prices aren't as good as some let on.

                  Of the two generally I find both list games at the same price except EB are more likely to throw in a preorder bonus. JB also surcharges me to pay with my Amex card at my local ones at least. A such I put EB ahead of JB now days. A few years ago JB were consistently better but that's not the case I don't feel for console games and both are generally at the same price.

                  EB will price March the other stores anyway. They aren't the cheapest, Big W or Target get that probably of the local retailers, but I don't think I'd put JB in any sort of pedestal if we were comparing just the two.

                  Last edited 23/04/17 10:34 am

    These Aussie companies have been very lucky. They have had 10 years to study Amazon and roll out a competitor in Australia before Amazon arrived but none of them have. They sat on their laurels, acted as business as usual and are now screwed.

    My only concern is tax. Harvey Norman, JB etc may be scumbags, but at least they pay their taxes (to a certain degree).

    The Govt had better be on the front foot with making it clear to Amazon that they will be expected to pay their fair share of tax for their Australian operations. Moving their profits off-shore is not acceptable.

      Exactly. I'm super keen for Amazon as much as the next person, but I want to know they're being taxed properly.

        Every large company pays millions per year to specialist tax avoidance experts (it's true, look it up) and so do thousands of very wealthy Australians.

        Until you make that illegal, you can't really blame them for wanting to dodge tax. What makes you think HN, JB, pay their fair share anyway? The ATO has publicly stated that 30% of Australia's large companies don't pay tax.

          I would if I could. Hell I worked two hours less last week and was paid $200 more. Don't you love being JUST in a tax bracket?

            Afaik that isn't how it works. Moving up a bracket doesn't increase the tax you pay on the whole amount you earn, only the amount over the bracket.
            So if you made $100 before tax and it was taxed at 10% you would get $90. If the next bracket was 101+ at 25% and you made $110 before tax you would get $97.5 and not $82.5.
            So unless your employer is accidentally taking more than they should in tax (which means you'll get that back come eofy) then something is off with that payslip.

            THATS SO WRONG

              THATS SO WRONG - which one are you referring to, dknigs or svenz0r? Because svenz0r is correct.

      I wouldn't be surprised if HN, JB et al haven't all been doing the Irish tax double shuffle for at least a decade.

      I'm sure they'll charge GST etc, but don't expect much in the way of corporate income tax. Even without dodgy income shuffling, Amazon are known for ploughing virtually all taxable profits back into their business.

      Well Amazon UK collects VAT for local customers, so I don't see why the Australian store wouldn't collect GST.

    Unless that retail offering includes stores in every city, then I don't think the bricks and mortarJB, Myer, HN, etc have anything to worry about.

    http://www.afr.com/business/retail/online-retail-sales-top-20-billion-20160803-gqjv0r
    "However, online spending... now accounts for 6.8 per cent of total bricks and mortar sales"

      This. It depends on what i'm buying, but if there is a reasonable price difference (5-10%) between online and the local store, I'll go to the store. It's easier to take things back for a start.

      I'm willing to pay a small premium to a bricks and mortar store because I can walk out with the item then and there. Online shopping still has delays and even though an Aussie version of Amazon should have quicker shipping it's still not instant.

      To me the main benefit of Amazon is increased range. I'm sick of going to JB (or elsewhere) and being told "Sorry that movie/CD/game isn't available" despite it being released elsewhere months ago. And sadly the back-order/special order facilities of the chains is woeful.

      I won't stop buying from JB (unless they close down obviously) but it'll be great to have a source for music that was previously only orderable from US amazon or similar.

        Speaking of range though, I'm a little worried Amazon will geoblock us from the US which will have all those things that were released elsewhere months ago...

      That surely gets skewed by the fact that many Australian retailers online presence is at best poor, as is their distribution. If Amazon can be price competitive (almost certainly will be) but can also work the logistics to get same day or next day delivery, then they could sweep the rug out of some of those other players that have awfully inefficient online models.

      I can't even begin to count how many times I've looked for something from one of the Australia retailers and stock they sell in store isn't listed online or has "in store only" next to it. That and some of the stores like Target and Harvey Norman have rather annoying features such as triggering pages for certain search terms that advertise the product being searched for instead of actually showing product, as if I didn't know what I was looking up. Go to target.com.au and search "amiibo" and instead of getting a list of amiibo, you get this useless page with a small "shop all" buried in the middle - https://www.target.com.au/amiibo. Thats unfortunately the poor online presence that likely turns people away from buying from Australian retailers online.

      I think if Amazon can encourage people to take out Prime Memberships, they'll get a lot of repeat purchases and it'll eat away at the other stores particularly given prime takes away the shipping cost thats almost always an issue for Australian online purchases.

    I expect a angry rant from Mr Harvey about why this is bad for Australia soon. Face it, Harvey Norman is going the way of the dodo.

      Never under estimate the power of touch and feel when it comes to shoppers, many people love putting there hands and eyes directly onto the item there purchasing..
      Not to mention that you complain about the pricing now, more competition is good but if HN and JB disappear what do you think will happen to the pricing (Amazon isn't your friend)....
      Maybe if you could disconnect from Facebook long enough to realise that 10.6% of all employed Australians are in retail mostly that is B & M businesses, where do all those jobs go....

        I always go into stores to touch, feel and check out items that I wish to buy but then I go home and buy the items online. I do ask first if they can do the items for the same online price. Some do, some don't.

          Bit of a dick move to do, touch, feel and check out items in store and then buy online.

            I give them the option to reduce their price.

              So you expect them to reduce their price - perhaps by not paying rent on the store at which you were able to conveniently touch, feel and check out the items?

    OffTopic: Are Gizmodo going to report on / ask questions over eBay's warning yesterday that they may block Aussies from purchasing overseas items due to the Government's plan charge GST to overseas companies?

      Good call. I'd love to see an article about that too.

      The interesting thing to me is that the companies have known it was coming for ages. It was announced last year after all. I wonder whether the news report was actually just made up scare-mongering though. There may be no real indications from ebay/amazon that they'd block us it's just some reporter guessing.

        I think the reason it's now being talked about is because initially it the response was "Haha there's no way they would actually do that", and now that it's due to come into effect July 1st, the response is "Oh, they're actually going to do that?"

        From what I have found, eBay submitted a letter to the Senate regarding the matter here:
        http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/GSTLowValueGoods/Submissions
        (at posting, it's on the first page at the bottom)
        Page 5 of the PDF under "Solutions" insinuates that they may be forced to prevent Australian shopper from purchasing from foreign sellers.

          Good point. Just seems a little strange that it's taken this long for it to come up. Though I guess any of these monolithic organisations take a long time to process changes and come up with solutions.

          On the plus side I'm going to save so much money, because I wont be buying products I don't want that are inferior for a higher price in Australia.

            As the way most thing are you'll be buying the same product but with a different brand name stuck to the side.

      I don't blame them. Auction sites are by far the hardest to manage shit like this because it's not eBay doing the selling, it's just a platform for other people. But to abide by the law and avoid getting blocked they'd need to enforce the Australian GST law onto their sellers which means notifying all of them, tracking gross sales revenue to Australian customers against every seller on the site, applying GST to the sale, collecting the GST lump sum from the sellers at the end of the financial year and then pass it on to the government.

      As important as operating globally is for eBay, that's a stupid amount of effort just to comply with the laws of one little backwater country with 7% the population of the United States.

      Never mind that the law itself is going to be difficult to enforce on anyone aside from the big names, and impossible to enforce at customs (it'll cost orders of magnitude more than the GST that will be collected from sub-$1000 items) and you've got a giant shitshow courtesy of vocal whingers like Gerry Harvey pressuring the government into taking hasty and poorly planned action to get him off their back.

        Or honestly they could just make all Australians agree to the fact there will be a 10% GST charge on top of any payment and collect. As much as I hate it, it doesn't seem like that hard a solution. Hell what do greys online charge? 15%?

          I don't think eBay would last long if they introduced an arbitrary charge as much as 10%. GST only needs to be collected for sellers with sales to Australian buyers in excess of $75,000 a year, and I know I wouldn't be too happy to have eBay collecting 10% from me when they didn't need to.

      It'd be interesting to see how Aussie business would react to having to collect state and federal US taxes for Americans that buy from an Aussie business. Especially as they all have different rates.

      I expect Gerry would have a fit...

    It will be interesting how this plays out. There are already significant online outlets competing against Harvey Norman, JBHiFi/The Good Guys, et al., so will Amazon make that much difference to pricing. I can already buy my appliances from Appliances Online (at a price most of the bricks and mortar retailers are willing to match), so how much more efficient can they be? If Harvey Norman are prepared to match the Amazon price on a new modem, why would I wait for Amazon to deliver when I can walk out the door then and there?

      There are already significant online outlets competing against Harvey Norman, JBHiFi/The Good Guys, et al.,I can't think of any that match Amazon's product range. That's where they always used to win for me when overseas - the fact you can login and buy anything at all.

      why would I wait for Amazon to deliver when I can walk out the door then and there?

      Why walk out the door and drive to the shops when you can get someone else to do that for you? Unless you need it right this second, waiting a day isn't going to hinder your plans much and frees up the time you would have spent fetching it yourself to do something else.

        How many people are going to buy a TV, blurray player, laptop, washing machine, dryer, etc without actually looking at it or trying it first, and if I can get it for the same price as online at the place you do those, why not just get it there?

          I don't need to physically look at any of those things, I'll do my research online first to find the strengths and weaknesses of the product. It'll be more thorough than seeing a television under typically bright store lighting when most people use it in darker conditions.

          Clothes are about the only exception, I'll try them on at least once and then order any subsequent ones of the same type online afterwards.

          I don't enjoy going to shops or shopping centres. If it's the same price online as in store, I'd rather have someone else bring it to me so I can spend my spare time on something I do enjoy instead.

            Bit of a rude move to try something instore and then buy online.

    Good. Time for the market to get a big shake up. If Amazon ends up with same-day delivery in major population centres like the US, I doubt I'll go to brick and mortar stores for most things.

      Yeah, this. Getting stuff delivered to my office that same afternoon will solve my PO Box issues.

      One warehouse to cover all of Australia. Unless your in the city that the warehouse is expect next day.

    Can’t wait to be forced to use the Australian store instead of the U.S. store and pay more for everything - even after currency conversion. Just like every single other U.S. retailer who branches out here. If you guys think Amazon will be any different, you’re kidding yourself.

      Perhaps it's because the cost of doing business in Australia is higher? (wages, taxes, compliance & red tape etc)

      They're cheaper in the US than most competing US stores. I don't see why they wouldn't be cheaper in Australia than most competing Australian stores, considering they're planning to operate in the same way.

      Or they come in and offer ridiculously low margins over cost, and wait for the dust to settle to see which competitors are left?

    On the down side, if Amazon's move into Canada is any guide, expect many US-listed items that were previously deliverable to AU to suddenly not be, particularly if they're available locally at a higher price. We might get a good-sized range here, but don't expect US-level pricing, even from the US.

    Similarly, Amazon US will start collecting import duties for qualifying goods sent to AU.

      Not to mention collecting and paying the GST.

    Jerry Harvey and JB are trying to convince the Government to block Amazon's entry. This is the same Jerry Harvey that pressured the Government for years to increase the GST threshhold on imported goods from $1,000 to cover all amounts from 1st July. Jerry's had it good for so long and doesn't want competitors raining on his parade. Never mind the battlers trying to save a few bucks by purchasing goods overseas at considerable savings. I never shop at HN now and never will.

      If you have the cash to buy, cd's, tv's etc you're hardly battling.

      But yeah continue sending money overseas then wonder why aussie have it tough because entry level jobs don't exist anymore because they have all gone off shore.

      Yeah it's fine to shop off shore but God forbid if a company moves there processes off shore to save money.

        I buy online a lot, but mostly from Aussie companies like JB online etc (except where something just isn't offered here...which also happens a lot).

        Much like stevemck , I'll never shop at HN...

    I thought Amazon was a book store. Why would JBs or HN be worried about an online book store?

      They are moving on to electronics and physical goods, like phones and TVs.

    I'm more interested is seeing how they plan on getting around Australian Labour laws.

    So many good points, people saving money, people worried about jobs, etc. My concern is Amazon will have those effects and more, it's when they become the only seller I worry - at the moment competition is present all be it ordinary, but then none at all. Any thoughts........

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