ices was announced by the company chairman Gordon Cairns as the company’s annual general meeting in Melbourne on Thursday night, adding that the chain was all set to take Amazon head on.
“We want to be obsessive about our customers, their needs and how we serve them better,” Cairns told shareholders.
“If we do not, we will lose out to those who do, like Amazon.”
The so called ‘dark- stores’ would also be set up by the company, as part of its strategy to counter the threat of Amazon, where such stores would be used to pack and ship online orders and would be closed to customers, Cairns also revealed. Four such stores would be opened up by the company.
He also warned that Amazon would cut the prices of retailers which could result in other retailers not stocking their products, if sellers were planning to make use of the platform of the U.S. giant.
“They can end up cutting their own throat. Before they step into the breach, they should perhaps consider what the long-term ramifications are,” he said.
But even with all the warnings and debates, it can be said with certainty that the Australian retail sector is all set to undergo a shake up with the advent of Amazon.
Amazon United States had 4.6 million customers among the online shoppers in Australia last month compared to 6.7 million customers for Woolworths, and was placed second in terms of interest among the Australian customers, found a recent survey conducted by market research firm Nielsen.
As the market prepares for the Christmas sale season, it is expected that there would be a significant impact of the entry of Amazon, said Megan Treston, Nielsen’s executive director of retail services.
High street retailers would be forced to lower their prices and enhance their services as it is expected that the growth in the online shopping market in Australia would be doubled by the entry of Amazon in the Australian market, said investment bank UBS.
The most exposed sectors are electronics, apparel and cosmetics, suggested a survey by UBS.
There is huge scope for growth in the Australian online market which is just 8 percent of the entire retail sales while the sector has grown at stupendous rate of 70 percent in the last year, found eh UBS survey.
The products of retailers run the risk of being ripped off to accommodate Amazon’s private labels, warned e-commerce rival eBay for the retailers who are planning to sell via Amazon Marketplace.
While competition is great for every player, “where you get players that try to use the data they get and then decide to go and retail those items themselves, that’s where it becomes a little unfair. We will be watching that carefully”, said eBay Australia and New Zealand managing director Tim MacKinnon.
(Adapted from News.xinhuanet.com)