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Amazon has officially arrived in Australia, with the announcement that is will be opening its first major warehouse and distribution centre in a suburb of Melbourne. The company, which is feared by many Australian retailers as a significant commercial threat says that it will immediately begin recruiting for staff for the new facility.

“We are thrilled to be creating hundreds of new roles in Dandenong South,” Robert Bruce, Amazon’s director of operations for Australia said in a statement.

“This is just the start. Over time, we will bring thousands of new jobs to Australia and millions of dollars of investment as well as opening up the opportunity for thousands of Australian businesses to sell at home and abroad through Amazon Marketplace.”

“This new fulfilment centre will stock hundreds of thousands of products which will be available for delivery to customers across Australia when we launch our retail offering. We will be focusing on offering our Australian customers low prices on a great selection of products and can’t wait to get started.”

Jobs advertised at the new facility include manual labour positions for “physical warehouse activities”, which, “depending on the type of job”, would require “lifting and moving material up to 16kg each” and “standing and walking for up to 10-12 hours a day” in a building more than 400 metres long, ‘The Australian’ reported.

Effect On Australian Ecommerce And Retail

The new Amazon fulfilment centre is located in the Melbourne suburb of Pellicano’s M2 Industry Park, close to the South Gippsland Freeway, Monash Freeway and EastLink and has a total size of 24,000 square metres. Whilst many retailers have been fearing the introduction of Amazon to the country, many other see their investment as a positive thing. One of these people is Victorian Industry Minister Wade Noonan who said that Amazon was “the latest global company to choose Victoria for its Australian operations. The company’s decision to locate its centre in Dandenong South will create hundreds of local jobs and open up retail opportunities for thousands of local businesses,” he said.

However, there is no doubt that the introduction of Amazon to the country will hit Australian ecommerce and retail. A report by financial services company UBS this week predicted Amazon would hit $3.5 billion in sales by 2023 and hit Australian retail sales by two per cent.

However, more damage would be done to its rivals’ bottom lines with earnings hits of up to 20 per cent predicted for JB Hi-Fi and Myer. In an even gloomier report for current Australian retailers, analysts from Citi said that Amazon would take $4 billion – 14 per cent of all online sales and 1.1 per cent of all Australian retailing – within five years. They also expect Amazon to take a staggering 44% of the Australian electronics market.

Scott Bretton

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