Just months after it appeared that Amazon was about to forego the idea of opening online trading in Israel, sources inform "Globes" that the US online retailing giant will start local activity. Last night, several Israeli suppliers received an invitation from Amazon (in Hebrew) to add delivery to Israeli customers under the heading "Local Delivery". Amazon requires Israeli sellers to deliver goods within five business days, and has added Israel to the list of possible destinations for sellers via Amazon. Nevertheless, as far as is known, Amazon is still not planning a logistics center in Israel.
In response to the news, shares in major Israeli real estate companies with shopping malls in their asset portfolios, such as Melisron Ltd. (TASE: MLSR), Azrieli Group Ltd. (TASE: AZRG) and Big Shopping Centers (2004) Ltd. (TASE:BIG), are falling on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Amazon invites the recipients of its message to be "part of a select group of sellers" and to take part in the Local Delivery program in Israel. Amazon explains that the Local Delivery program enables sellers to use their Amazon.com accounts to sell and deliver directly to customers in Israel from their stock in Israel via Fulfillment by Merchant.
"Amazon always starts with seller deliveries as the first stage of its activity," says Nir Zigdon, founder and CEO of eCommunity, an approved Amazon supplier. "We've seen this happen in Australia, India, and now in Amazon Turkey. Later on, subject to viability, Amazon opens logistics centers and enables Amazon Prime membership.
"At any rate, this is exciting news. Amazon is making giant strides in Israel, quietly and confidently. It is interested in the Israeli market. Amazon's move allows thousands of brands that currently only sell overseas to start activity in Israel by locating their merchandise in warehouses designed for the purpose that already exist in Israel (still not Amazon warehouses, but warehouses set up in the past year in anticipation of the company's entry into Israel). Local manufacturers and local brands can also offer their wares on Amazon (Amazon US at this stage; there is still no Amazon site in Hebrew), and to provide pricing and a purchasing experience more appropriate to Israeli consumers who buy on Amazon."
Sellers will still have to offer overseas deliveries as well, but this is a solution for Israeli players who want to sell to Israel, or mainly to Israelis, and who can now do so by completing a few simple steps.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 30, 2019
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