The launch of amazon.pl places the US giant in direct competition with local e-commerce retailer Allegro.
Online retail giant Amazon has launched its Polish store, amazon.pl, its first foray into the markets of Central and Eastern Europe.
The launch puts the US behemoth in direct competition with local players including Allegro, which in October last year listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW) in a massively oversubscribed IPO that was the largest in the history of the exchange. The 9.2 million shares available raised 400 million złoty (89 million euros), but total demand for shares was 2.65 billion złoty (around 590 million euros).
The listing immediately made Allegro the biggest company listed on the GPW.
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Amazon has been operating in Poland since 2014 and the US Chamber of Commerce recently announced that Amazon is the country’s largest US employer and the third-largest American investor.
Amazon has created over 18,000 permanent jobs in nine logistics centres throughout the country, in Sady (near Poznań), Sosnowiec, Kołbaskowo (near Szczecin), two facilities in Bielany Wrocławskie, Pawlikowice (near Łódź), Łódź, Okmiany (near Bolesławiec) and Gliwice and at the Amazon Web Services office and at the Amazon Technology Development Center in Gdańsk, which provide innovative solutions supporting Amazon products and services around the world, including Alexa.
This year, a 10th logistics centre will be launched, in Świebodzin, creating a further 1,000 new jobs.
“Amazon has been supporting Polish customers for many years and helping to sell the products of Polish entrepreneurs in our European stores. The next step is to introduce a full retail offer for consumers in Poland and it is now time to take that step,” said Alex Ootes, vice president of development, EU, at Amazon, said in January.
“We are happy to be able to strengthen the position of Polish companies through Amazon by investing in tools and services that will help them grow. We are convinced that by focusing on what, in our opinion, customers value the most – low prices, a wide selection of goods and their fast delivery – we will gain the trust of customers in Poland over time.”
A beneficiary of Covid-19
E-commerce has been one of the major beneficiaries of the Covid-19 pandemic, as lockdowns and containment measures closed high street stores across the world.
PMR Market Experts, a consultancy, has forecast that the value of e-commerce sales in Poland grew by 25.6 per cent in 2020, to 76.8 billion złoty (16.92 billion euros).
This is well ahead of the global e-commerce growth rate of around 16 per cent for 2020.
However, that the total value of online transactions is similar to The Netherlands, which has a population less than half that of Poland, suggests that there is room for even more growth.
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