It's official - Amazon.com is opening up shop in Israel

Online retail giant offers local merchants opportunity to sell via Amazon marketplace. Experts say move likely hints at future expansion.

David Rosenberg,

Amazon
Amazon
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The online retail giant Amazon.com is poised to open operations in Israel, following years of speculation.

On Tuesday, a number of Israeli companies reported that Amazon had reached out to them, offering them to sell their goods via the Amazon.com online marketplace.

Under Amazon’s local delivery program, Israeli merchants will be able to offer their products through the Amazon.com website, selling to customers in Israel.

In this arrangement, the deliveries will be fulfilled by the merchants, rather than through one of Amazon’s shipping centers.

The new operation in Israel will allow customers in the Jewish state to receive items ordered from local merchants within three-to-five days by standard shipping, or two-to-three days with expedited shipping.

There is no word at this stage, however, about plans for opening an Amazon distribution center in Israel. The Seattle-based retail giant floated the idea back in 2017, engaging in talks for the possible acquisition of warehouse space needed for storing products before they’re shipped to customers in Israel.

Earlier that year, Amazon announced it was opening new offices in Israel for its research and development operations.

But some experts say that while Amazon has made no official announcement, its latest moves suggest the company is likely preparing to open full-scale operations in Israel.

Odelia Orbach, co-chief executive officer of e-Community, said the latest move was a “first step” towards opening full operations in Israel, Yediot Ahronot reported.

E-Community founder Nir Zigdon said, according to Globes, that Amazon.com had in the past launched overseas operations in steps, beginning with offering local merchants an opportunity to sell on its marketplace – and ending with full-scale operations.

“Amazon always starts with shipments by the merchant in the first step. We saw this happen in Australia, India, and now in Amazon Turkey.”

The next step, added Zigdon, is the opening of warehouses and logistics centers.

“Also this is a clear announcement that Amazon is making its way to Israel with giant steps, quietly but confidently, and that it is interested in the Israeli market.”




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