Amazon Is Coming To Australia In 2018

Amazon Australian LaunchImage: iStock

Amazon's Australian rollout plan has just been laid out by a former executive of the company - and we finally have a launch date. From next year, Australians will reportedly be able to use the online shopping service to purchase a huge variety of products, including groceries, clothing, electronics and even takeaway food. Here are all the services Australia will be getting: from fresh food delivery to Amazon Prime Now.

Update: A previous version of this story stated that Brittain Ladd was the current global logistics senior manager for Amazon. We have been informed that Ladd is no longer with the company and have amended the article to reflect this.

In an interview with our parent company Fairfax Media, Amazon's former global logistics senior manager, Brittain Ladd, confirmed that the company's shopping rollout will soon include Australia. (While this has been widely reported for months, Amazon has refrained from making any official statements.)

Ladd described Australia as an attractive market and said the company would be launching "as many services and products as possible within Australia".

Here's everything that we know so far.

When is Amazon launching in Australia?

Amazon plans to have its flagship Australian website up and running by the end of 2018. That's a slightly longer wait than we were hoping, but at least we have confirmation it's happening.

What about Amazon Prime Now?

Amazon has confirmed it will be launching an Australian version of its premium Prime Now service, which provides faster shipping to members alongside other perks. There's still no word on whether Amazon will be bringing in its own courier service or relying on third parties for delivery.

What is AmazonFresh?

As its name implies, Amazon Fresh specialises in grocery deliveries. It works the same as the main Amazon website, but with an emphasis on fresh food and supermarket goods. Available categories include fruits, vegetables, packaged produce, cheeses, canned and frozen foods, pasta, household supplies and beauty products. Amazon has confirmed that the Fresh site will also be launching in Australia. Intriguingly, the US version includes a section dedicated to local market produce - hopefully this feature makes it across.

What about Amazon Go?

Amazon is in the process of launching Amazon Go in the US. This is a chain of physical checkout-free supermarkets that automatically bill shoppers on their smartphone via electronically tagged products when they exit the store.

Aldi and Lidl have proven there's plenty of scope to disrupt the grocery market in Australia - and Amazon is taking notice. According to Ladd, Amazon Go could eventually make it to Australia. Ladd said Amazon Go would only appear "after Amazon has become more established in the country and analysis determines the market will support physical stores."


That's pretty much everything we have thus far. For its part, traditional retailers have remained curiously unmoved by Amazon's impending rollout, with former Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder flatly stating: "We're not worried about Amazon or anyone else."

Meanwhile, analysts who were briefed by Amazon claim the online retailer wants to "destroy" the Australian retail industry. According to a recent Credit Suisse report, Myer, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Supercheap Auto, Big W, Kmart and Target are all tipped to see revenues smashed by as much as 55 per cent over the next five years.

In the words of Deloitte’s Retail, Wholesale and Distribution Group leader David White: “If Amazon isn’t on the agenda at board meetings for Australian retailers, then it should be.”

We still have a lot of questions about Amazon Australia - particularly surrounding how the range of products will compare to the US, the potential geo-blocking of Amazon.com and whether electronics will be slugged with the usual "Australia tax". Needless to say, we'll be keeping a close eye on this story as it develops. Stay tuned!

[Via SMH]

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Comments

    Cry havoc and let slip the bargains of war!

    I can't get past the bloke's name

    Brittain Ladd

    It's almost too good to not be a joke

    Could we see products sold by retailers affected the most (which, for time being, we can't tell who) either increase or decrease their stock to compete with Amazon?

    I mean, eBay aside, Australian retail has weathered a fair few storms.

    Amazon needs to establish itself first, and then build from there. You can't apply US thinking to Australia, they'd have to set up warehouses for stock in strategic places in EVERY state and territory, for one thing.

    Will be interesting to see the logistics play out over time, in the mean time expect a new 'buy local, buy from us' blitz from the usual motley crew of well-known stores that always get featured in stories about their stranglehold perhaps loosening.

    I admit, the boldness and brashness of an arrogant American company making no bones about wanting to come "over 'ere" and flipping the industry upside down gives me pause too, but still it's very early days.

    Hope Allure/etc keep us up to date.

      I just hope Gerry Harvey gets his comeuppance :-)

      Mind you, he's no doubt rich enough to retire comfortably anyway, so it would be a symbolic comeuppance in any case.

        It's all good and well to wish Gerry get's a hiding, but he also employs a lot of people through his stores. Amazon will not. They will be streamlined and very tight in their operations. This means less jobs for Australians.

      Given we are getting Prime and groceries, not to mention the extended timeframe of late 2018 compared to some rumours of 2017, I assume the plan is very much to have logistics based out of all or at least most major cities.

      We'll see but I do think they'll crush many larger local retailers. A lot of the other shake ups that the media made a song and dance about were ultimately more niche players that concentrated on a single good type or at the very least didn't share the name recognition that Amazon has. The media has at times played up some store openings by saying "they're popular and well known in Asia/Germany/Wherever", but the difference this time is Amazon's a household name already in Australia before they ship a single product locally. I'll assume many or most not only know of the name but have browsed there at least once, and likely made a purchase from the company. Not sure that can be said about many of those other retailers that entered the AU market.

      Last edited 29/03/17 2:44 pm

    Have to say, I'll sign up, especially if Amazon get their drone delivery system going. Package delivered via drone, hours after the order, now how cool is that!

      CASA will (pardon the pun) shoot it down, no doubt.

      Yes but drones will only be allowed to fly following the roads, or far enough above my house that I won't feel the need to bring it down. People come first.

    I'm excited for AmazonFresh! But only if it is an "Australia Wide" service and not just a "within 50km of the only warehouse in the state" service because if its the latter then its just another service I can't use and there are already heaps of those.

    Any word if this will extend to NZ? Obviously not the fresh food but the other areas would be nice. I buy pretty much all my clothing and electronics from Australian companies anyway.

      I'm hoping for NZ to get included in the main areas apart from Fresh; would be great!

    I thought this was meant to be happening around September this year. Gotta wait more than another 12 months for it. Dang :(

    I will confidently say that:

    (a) the range of stuff available will be MUCH narrower than in the US; and

    (b) while competitive, the prices offered by Amazon AU will not be as low as the prices in the US for the same goods (i.e. the Australia Tax will still be imposed to an extent).

      I suspect the prices will be cheaper after you include shipping, otherwise what's the point? And if you continue to use the US site but buy something they have in local inventory, it will probably be shipped domestically.

        Yeah I agree with you. I think though that there are a lot of things on the US site that can't be shipped to Australia. These things won't fall into the 'parity or cheaper' basket.

    Will we get the 20% discount on new games from amazon prime?

      LOL, probably a 20% discount on the EB Games-style RRP. In other words, what you can get it for at JB Hi-fi or Big W.

    Will they sell books? And have a freakin ginormous range of graphic novels?

    Awesome. I refused to shop there after they tried to charge $50+ for postage of a small book.

    Any word if this includes New Zealand?

    Probably not the food stuff, but the rest is closer to the warehouses than Perth, etc.

    Gotta love how scared of competition the local retailers are LOL

    Its about time someone put the local rip off merchants in their place. Competition is always good for consumers, don't know why anyone wouldn't support this. Australia has always been scared of change, it comes from being so isolated. Come on folks, get with the times. Or do you like having no choice and being bent over by the only two retailers in the country?

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