It's official -- Amazon is setting up shop properly in Australia, and is promising "low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery" to win the business of paying Australians.
Here's the full quote from Amazon:
Amazon Web Services launched an Australian region in 2012, we launched a Kindle Store on Amazon.com.au in 2013, and we now have almost 1,000 employees in the country.
The next step is to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now. We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace.
We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most – low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery – over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers.
This could potentially mean great things for Australian consumers -- there are many services like Amazon Prime that Amazon offers overseas that we don't have access to, and prices are sure to be lower than what we're used to. For some items, we may even see a reduction of the Australia Tax to negligible levels.
It also has the potential to be devastating for local retailers, big and small, and it's worth taking note this expert analysis of what this move could mean. In short: It's not good.
Amazon has the bulk to wear sustained losses for long enough to starve other businesses, and some people may even see that as a positive after a lifetime of being gouged, but that's probably getting ahead of ourselves. There's no date yet for when Amazon will launch, but in the short term it's good news.