Australians seem to be stuck in a waiting game with Amazon.
After the online giant early this week quietly tested a soft launch of a full marketplace selling structure, already familiar to millions of shoppers in the U.S., it was widely expected that Amazon was prepared to launch officially in Australia right after the Thanksgiving holiday.
But Aussies will apparently have to wait a little longer, as Amazon’s Australian site is still offering only a range of popular book titles and its Kindle products.
Company representatives in Australia declined to comment, citing Amazon’s policy on “rumors and speculation.” A listing for potential sellers in Australia is live, however, with the company saying it’s “excited to bring the Amazon Marketplace to Australia next.”
A number of local reports citing analysts and local sellers that have been notified suggest that a full Amazon Australia offering will come sometime next week.
Whenever the launch happens, it’s clear that the e-tailer is moving toward fuller operations in the area. Earlier this year it opened a new fulfillment center in Melbourne, its first in Australia, which would make it possible to offer local customers faster shipping times — for which Amazon has become more-or-less known. Currently, offerings in Australia are hampered by international shipping times.
Amazon also has a number of available jobs in Melbourne, including positions like account executive, technical consultant and stock manager.
The company has been methodically extending its reach beyond being just another online marketplace, with a new range of artificial intelligence-powered voice assistants and this year’s acquisition of high-end U.S. grocer Whole Foods, which has been working to its advantage this holiday season, and a focus on convenience unrivaled by traditional retailers.
But as the company continues to grow, it’s coming up against worker issues. Warehouse workers in Italy and Germany went on strike over the Thanksgiving holiday to bring attention to claims of long working hours and low wages. While Thanksgiving is not a national holiday outside of the U.S., the Friday after is still a popular shopping day worldwide given all the deals that multinational retailers, including Amazon, offer.
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