Amazon is coming to Australia, but at what cost for local business?

Amazon has confirmed that it is coming to Australia, promising low prices, vast selection and fast delivery. But what will it mean for local retailers?

Shoppers rejoice, Amazon is opening up a local base with promises to deliver low prices and fast delivery.

Amazon already has nearly 1000 employees in Australia where it operates its cloud based web services and Kindle e-book selling business, but its latest announcement will change the retail landscape locally.

In the United States it has set up numerous warehouses in cheap areas fulfilling online orders, often within hours.

It's now confirmed that it's looking to do the same here, releasing this statement:

“Amazon Web Services launched an Australian region in 2012, we launched a Kindle Store on in 2013, and we now have almost 1,000 employees in the country. The next step is to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now. We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace. We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most – low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery – over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers.”

Technology investor, Alex Pollak, chief executive of Loftus Peak said Amazon was a force to be reckoned with.

"This will really shake the market up, this is the biggest thing in retail for 20 or 30 years," he said.

"You can expect it to be a pretty serious competitive threat."

In the US Amazon offers more than three million different types of products.

In Australia, small electrical goods are likely to be the first battleground putting pressure on existing retailers and department stores.

And Amazon is already looking to the future with a tech-smart grocery store in the works with no checkout.

While the arrival of Amazon could mean doom and gloom for some Australian businesses, others, like digital marketing agencies, expect to benefit from the retail giant's presence.

E-Web Marketing is one of those businesses hoping to gain access to Amazon's customer base.

"The main benefit to us that anytime an Australian business wants to get online, there comes a whole heap of other things they need to address, they need to address their brand, drive more traffic so anything that takes more Australian businesses online is beneficial for a digital marketing agency like us," E-Web Marketing's chief marketing officer Blake Smith said.

Amazon is the world's fourth biggest company by market capitalisation and Mr Pollak said its size was its advantage.

"A less kind interpretation is if Amazon is able to source a whole lot of stuff at better prices than the local shops can do it, that will drive them out of business," he said.

Amazon is yet to issue an Australian launch date.

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