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Amazon finally launches Australian retail operations

US e-commerce giant Amazon has at last launched its Australian operation.

Amazon’s delivery offering is now live in Australia

In a move that has been rumoured for over two years and dreaded by local retailers for more than a decade, the launch of Amazon locally threatens to shake up Australia’s $165bn retail sector.

Amazon’s head of Australian operations, Rocco Braeuniger

While access to Amazon’s digital books Kindle store and streaming service Prime has been available for some time, today marks the first time physical products are available from Amazon locally.

“Focusing on customers and the long-term are key principles in Amazon’s approach to retailing,” said Rocco Braeuniger, country manager of Amazon Australia. “By concentrating on providing a great shopping experience and by constantly innovating on behalf of customers, we hope to earn the trust and the custom of Australian shoppers in the years to come.”

The updated site has a focus on fashion lines along with electronics, white goods and home improvements.

In August, the retailer appointed German Rocco Braeuniger as the head of Australian operations.

The appointment of Braeuniger followed Amazon’s confirmation of its first fulfilment centre in in south-east Melbourne and the company starting its hunt for a local creative agency.

Opinions have varied about the effects of Amazon upon Australia’s domestic retailers with industry figures observing the company is already a well established local brand in the minds of consumers.

Industry surveys have indicated Australian retailers are underprepared for the global giant’s arrival in the market with Interbrand’s Nathan Birch warning local brands were falling behind the brand recognition of Amazon and those of the other major US tech companies.

Advertisers have also been put on notice that Amazon’s entry threatens to disrupt the local market with MediaCom’s Roger Dunn warning in Mumbrella back in July that adland needs to ‘wake up’ to the risks posed by the giant’s Australian entry.

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