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Amazon officially goes live in Australia

| International retailers

Amazon has formally launched in Australia, with its local website now accepting orders from across the country. The site offers “millions” of products across 23 categories, via both its own offer and a third-party marketplace platform.

While the launch is broader than in some previous markets where it had launched, and includes major brands as well as own label items, initial reports suggest that its prices are not as aggressively low as rivals had feared.

Further, Amazon is not offering its Prime service until mid-2018, adding that the Prime Now service would be rolled out some time after that launch.  Till then, it is offering next-day delivery in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra for A$9.99, and two-day delivery in Perth and regional cities in Victoria, NSW and SA for A$11.99. Priority shipping to all other areas will cost $19.99.

Gerry Harvey, Chairman of the Harvey Norman chain, termed the launch as a “non-event”, adding: “We’re below them on a lot of stuff, and we’ve got a whole heap of stuff they don’t even sell.” Analysts at Citi Retail and Morgan Stanley termed the offer as “patchy”, and said Amazon will not be as disruptive for the Australian retail industry this Christmas.

Shares in major non-food Australian retailers are up today, with JB Hi-Fi recorded a 6.8% gain, Harvey Norman reporting a 6.3% increase, and Myer up 1.3%.

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