E-commerce giant Amazon has started its sixth European platform in the Netherlands on Tuesday with ‘thousands’ of Dutch retailers opting for the sales channel.
‘With Amazon.nl we are providing the service our Dutch customers had been asking for: the possibility to buy goods in a Dutch-language Amazon store with access to local and international products,’ Amazon EU expansion president Alex Ootes said in a statement.
Amazon has been selling e-books in the Netherlands since 2014 and Dutch shoppers have been offered 24-hour delivery by Amazon.de on some three million items since 2016. According to online retail magazine Twinkle, Amazon is already in sixth place in the Dutch market, with sales of €350m in 2018.
Amazon.nl said it has ‘thousands’ of Dutch retailers on its books but gave no precise figure. Its main Dutch competitor, Bol.com, has some 27,000, broadcaster NOS reports, and has recently included clothing in its product range and reduced fees for Dutch providers to weather the competitive storm.
Amazon is the world’s largest web shop and has a turnover of almost €250bn worldwide.
Experts are divided about the likely impact of Amazon on the Dutch retail sector.
Some say Dutch consumers will only switch to Amazon if prices are 10% lower than those offered by the likes of Bol.com, which is part of the Ahold empire. Others warn that the effect on the high street will be considerable.
Wijnand Jongen, director of lobby group Thuiswinkel.org, said he expected the arrival of Amazon to speed up the switch to online shopping. ‘But Dutch retailers who are already active online are well positioned to take on Amazon,’ he said. ‘They have already won the trust of the Dutch consumer.’
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