retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Seattle Times reports that after a day or two of flirting with the big number, Amazon's shares closed above $1,000 per share - at $1,006.73, to be precise - at the end of trading on Friday. It was, the story says, "a sign of Wall Street’s optimism about the competitive strength of the world’s largest e-commerce and cloud computing giant."

Bloomberg reports that Amazon, having "lost billions overseas trying to replicate its U.S. success, is now attempting to crack one of the biggest and most sparsely populated nations where bricks-and-mortar retailers are king."


According to the story, Amazon "says it’s 'actively looking' for a warehouse as it prepares to start operations in Australia. Anticipating a price war, analysts have almost halved profit forecasts for local electronics chains such as Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. and JB Hi-Fi Ltd."

But Australia could be down under in more ways that one for Amazon, the story suggests, noting that Australia is "a nation almost as large as the U.S. but home to just 24 million people. Major population pockets can be 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) apart, driving up the cost of fast deliveries. Wages are higher than in most major developed nations. And the quantity of red tape means it’s easier to do business in Macedonia, according to rankings by the World Bank."

Amazon has not put a date on when it plans to begin engaging in e-commerce in Australia.
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