John Winning, the founder of Appliances Online and the CEO of whitegoods retailer Winning Group, says it’s probably too late to prepare for the arrival of Amazon in Australia.
He believes his business, a retailer of mainly large appliances, will be only slightly exposed by Amazon.
Winning thinks the hardest hit will be those who retail books, cosmetics and clothing.
“Amazon will win over most Australian retailers on experience and price every time,” he writes in an article on LinkedIn.
However, those retailers who have invested in developing their point of difference will stand out from the crowd.
“It’s really sad, but if Amazon can’t win customers by going 5% cheaper, then they will go 10% cheaper and unfortunately, they will keep going until they kill the competition,” he says.
Amazon Australia’s first warehouse is up and running in eastern Melbourne, although it’s still not known when the company will start selling from it.
Amazon announced in August its push into Australia.
But the Winning Group isn’t doing anything to prepare for Amazon’s arrival.
“Eleven years ago when we were looking at building Appliances Online’s business model, we already knew Amazon existed, so we looked at an international level to create a competitive advantage,” he says.
“A global perspective made it clear that we needed to have our own fulfillment centres so that we had complete control of our processes from end to end.
“Amazon’s entrance to Australia now doesn’t change this.”
Winning says his group is still in full control of our its destiny.
“We do not need to make any changes now, but if you are only reacting now to Amazon’s arrival, it’s probably too late anyway,” he says.