Amazon’s Australian venture looks set to get started sooner than expected. The tech giant reportedly sent a number of emails to suppliers, detailing plans for a soft launch Thursday ahead of an official launch Friday.
Amazon shares ended the US trading day 1.17% higher at $1,139.49, Tuesday.
The news, from a leaked email, comes just 10 days after Amazon Australia said the Australian launch was “very close”.
The Amazon Australia launch coincides with Black Friday, the biggest day for shoppers on the US calendar.
And, if the deals that are available across the US and UK are anything to go by, Australian shoppers could be in for some real bargains on launch day. Items are currently selling for discounts of up to 70%.
Given the economic backdrop of sluggish wage growth and subdued consumer sentiment currently across Australia, lower priced goods will likely prove popular. However, Australian consumers aren’t as keen on online shopping as their US and UK counterparts.
That’s something that could dampen the launch.
In addition, Amazon has to be careful of inciting a price war among Australia’s retailers. A new law, the “effects test” has been passed to protect businesses. It is now illegal to behave in a way that drives a competitor out of business – intentionally or not.
While the Amazon Australia launch will likely be considered good news for consumers, retailers will probably be less enthused.
Consumer spending has been slow, likely due in part, to low wage growth. That means Amazon will be another locally based retailer vying for the little consumer business that’s currently available.
Of course, the Christmas shopping season is now upon us and there’s no doubt they’re hoping for increased footfall and spending as December 25th draws closer.
But, if Amazon stocks what those consumers want and need for lower prices than elsewhere, chances are the new store in town will win that holiday business.