Amazon confirms it will open giant fulfilment centre in Melbourne

US giant one step closer to a direct presence in New Zealand — but opinion is split over whether it will hop across the Tasman.
Amazon founder and Jeff Bezos: his company's recent share surge recently briefly made him the planet's richest human, with a wealth of close to $US90b by Forbes' estimate

Amazon is a step closer to fulfilling its promise of a direct presence in Australia by year's end with the announcement of details of a giant warehouse in Melbourne.

The "fulfilment centre" in the M2 Industry Park in Dandenong South will be 24,000 square metres and employ "hundreds." Amazon has started recruiting for a range of roles, including operations managers, pickers, packers, systems technicians and HR specialists.

The US multinational says the warehouse will stock hundreds of thousands of products and be used for fast delivery across Australia. And, although the company did not say it, it will obviously make the fulfilment of orders from New Zealand much faster.

Opinion is split on whether Amazon's next step will be to hop across the Tasman.

Forsyth Barr research head Andy Bowley recently told NBR that Amazon will put boots on the ground in New Zealand within five years. A team of Forsyth Barr analysts recently put out a report detailing the impact on NZX-listed stocks from The Warehouse Group to mall owner Stride Property to Sky TV.

But commentator Ben Kepes does not think Amazon will ever establish a direct presence here. 

He says the US giant's modus operandi is always about scale and the model does not suit the tiny New Zealand market.

Read more on Bowley vs Kepes and the impact of Amazon ramping up its business in New Zealand here.

Amazon's announcement today coincided with NZ Posted teaming with The Warehouse Group to offer unlimited shipping for $12 during a trial for 5000 people 14 August and 13 October. The trial will cover four Warehouse Group brands: The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Torpedo 7 and Noel Leeming. It will have restrictions around size and distance, but broadly speaking seems a preemptive measure against Amazon's Prime service. Priced from $US99, Prime offers free or discounted delivery on various items, as well as streaming audio and video services.

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