amazon4
ECOMMERCE

Amazon heads Down Under

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The Australian retail marketplace is in for a huge shake-up.

Amazon is preparing to operate an online store in Australia, offering the country’s consumers access to more categories. Amazon already sells Kindle e-books and readers, Audible audiobooks, and online shoppers can also download apps, but this move will bring “a retail offering to Australia,” according to the e-retailer.

This will be welcome news for Australian shoppers who previously ordered other merchandise categories on Amazon’s Marketplace — a global marketplace for third-party sellers. Currently, more than 1,000 Australian companies sell their wares on the platform.

However, this service forced shoppers to wait nine to 12 days for orders arriving with standard shipping, and pay hefty shipping rates, according to The Seattle Times.

Rumors have been swirling about the possibility of Amazon entering the Australian marketplace and providing local ordering and delivery of goods. A statement confirmed that Amazon is now ready to take the “next step to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now."

Australia is also not new territory for Amazon. The company established roots Down Under in 2012, when it launched its cloud-based Amazon Web Services, and built more momentum when it debuted a Kindle Store on Amazon.com.au in 2013. Approximately 1,000 employees manage these operations.

Looking ahead, “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,” according to the retailer.

To support its new operations, the online giant is also shopping for warehouse space — a 93,000 square m (Australian) depot — in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, according to Business Insider Australia.

While the site’s launch date is not set in stone, it could debut as soon as July, according to the report.

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CitySports
ECOMMERCE

Shuttered sporting goods retailer back in business

BY Marianne Wilson

The game is back on at City Sports Inc.

In 2015, the Boston-based sporting goods retailer filed for bankruptcy and closed its 26 stores. Shortly afterwards, two Wharton-trained brothers, Brent and Blake Sonnek-Schmelz, bought City Sports' intellectual property rights at a bankruptcy auction for $400,000.

Most recently, the company has begun selling merchandise on its website, reported Boston Business Journal. And it also plans to open stores in large cities including Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

According to Boston Business Journal, the company said, "Our focus on serving the urban athlete remains as strong as it was in 1983 when two friends opened a small store on Massachusetts Ave.”

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FlyingTiger
DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Danish discounter touching down in Brooklyn

BY Marianne Wilson

Flying Tiger Copenhagen is expanding its U.S. footprint.

The discounter will open a 2,100-sq.-ft. store at City Point, in downtown Brooklyn, on April 21. The Danish home retailer offers a quirky, ever-changing assortment of product, ranging from home goods to toys to electronics and more, with many created by the company’s in-house design team in Denmark.

"Danish design is immensely popular in the U.S., and Flying Tiger Copenhagen's strength is that we can offer Danish design at surprisingly affordable prices," said Søren Friis, head of North America.

The Brooklyn location is Flying Tiger Copenhagen's fifth store in the United States, all in the New York area. This expansion reflects Flying Tiger Copenhagen's explosive international growth, with two to three store openings worldwide every week. The company, which opened its first store in 1995, in Copenhagen, currently operates a total of 780 stores in 28 countries across Europe, Asia and the U.S.

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