Despite promises from Amazon itself, its online retail store did not open in Australia on November 24.
According to LifeHacker.com.au: “Despite a brief appearance in the early morning, there’s still no sign of Amazon’s revamped storefront. At this stage, it seems extremely unlikely that we’ll see it reappear this week.”
Amazon will be a huge threat to bricks-and-mortar retailers, particularly those who deal with small commodity items such as printer cartridges and other office products.
LifeHacker reporter, Chris Jager, explains the Amazon.com.au website “still shows the same Kindle shopfront that has been online since 2013. While it’s possible to get a sneak peak of the items Amazon will be selling, attempting to purchase non-Kindle products just takes you to the front page.”
Jager adds, “In an email sent to Marketplace sellers, Amazon said it would ‘soft launch’ the site at 2pm AEST. However, as we noted in our original coverage, this was only a “testing phase” open to ‘a small number of customers’.”
Earlier, the Commonwealth Bank Retail Insights Report found 49 percent of Australian retailers are unfazed by Amazon’s push into the Australian market, with only 11 percent seeing the company as a significant threat to their business. However, in the US the so-called ‘Amazon effect’ has seen its share price skyrocket as shoppers flock online, while bricks and mortar retailers have been closing stores. CommBank’s National Manager of Retail, Jerry Macey, told news.com.au many Aussie retailers had no idea what they were in for. “30 percent of retailers said they aren’t even aware of Amazon and that was even bigger number for small companies, purely online stores, or retailers in rural areas. This is concerning when you consider the impact Amazon has had on the US, a very mature market.”
It now appears the Amazon launch date in Australia will take place next week. LifeHacker.com.au tips it will be Thursday, November 30 or Friday, December 1 in time for Christmas.