Amazon launches in Australia

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The plan of becoming open for business just before Christmas seems to of gone right ahead as Amazon have already been selling Kindle e-reader devices and audio books.

The Australian retail landscape received a big shakeup today, with Amazon finally launching its fully-fledged Australian online store with a raft of deals across all the major retail categories.

Australian country manager Rocco Braeuniger told local media that "by concentrating on providing a great shopping experience and by constantly innovating on behalf of customers, we hope to earn the trust and the custom of Australian shoppers in the years to come".

While Australian registered sellers have used Amazon for some time, they couldn't ship goods in-country since the company didn't own a warehouse there. Faster times are available for higher prices, of course.

While Amazon's corporate offices, with 1,000 employees, are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and Perth, the company's new fulfillment centre in Dandenong South will be the nucleus for product distribution.

Adding fuel to the fire, Amazon has offered a one-day delivery service across Sydney and Melbourne over the Christmas holiday period.

It also did not comment on any last-minute problems from an order-taking trial which began on November 23. Shipping to more remote areas could take as much as 10 days. Australia is the size of the mainland United States, with one-thirteenth its population. Shares of top department store operator Myer Holdings Ltd are down 30 percent since that time. Its online sales leapt 68 percent in the 13 weeks to October 28, but remained only a tiny fraction of its total revenue.

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