International retail behemoth Amazon’s expansion into the Australian market is running ahead of schedule, with the company expecting demand to continue at a pace even after months of COVID-boosted sales.
Craig Fuller, Amazon Australia’s head of operations, told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald the business’ growth in the local market was beating expectations, with sales almost doubling over 2020 to top $1 billion for the first time.
“Our expansion plans, in terms of putting down a footprint and whatnot, has probably just been brought forward a little bit, but in terms of where we thought we’d be…we’re a little bit ahead,” he said.
Amazon, which is a $US1.6 trillion ($2 trillion) business globally, has historically taken a slow but steady approach to the Australian market, opting to grow its users gradually rather than blitz shoppers with massive marketing campaigns.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated boom in online shopping appears to have turned this approach on its head. Along with its soaring sales, the company has also vastly expanded its fulfilment network in Australia, opening 11 new sites in the past 12 months.
“Those 11 buildings have really doubled our footprint,” Mr Fuller said. “We’re in all major capital cities…and we’re continuing to expand our delivery service across the regional cities of Australia.”
Amazon will also open its new 200,000 square foot robotic warehouse in Sydney later this year, which will house over 11 million items and be almost entirely automated.
COVID-19 has been a boon to almost every major online retailer over the past year, as locked-down shoppers shifted their spend online. However, as the country has begun to open up, some companies such as Adore Beauty and Kogan have reported a slowing in growth.