Myer’s Amazon Australia deal

Andrew Munro 31 August 2017 NEWS

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The department store chain will begin selling Kindle ebook readers and accessories.

Myer may have initially felt Amazon's entry into Australia was a threat, but now the chain store is pairing up with the ecommerce giant as part of its "wanted brands" strategy. As the name suggests, the strategy is all about selling what people want. In this case, Amazon Kindle ereaders and related accessories.

Dain Friis, Myer group home and entertainment general manager described the collaboration as a "natural fit," while Scott Harrington, director of Amazon device sales, said "Myer will help make e-reading even more accessible to literature enthusiasts across the nation".

Amazon has sold Kindles in Australia since 2009. While it has trialled selling them through local retailers including Big W and Dick Smith, in recent years it has relied largely on online sales/

This partnership is potentially a chance for Amazon to put its devices directly in front of customers who would otherwise walk right past, and could be an especially effective way to expand its footprint before Amazon Prime lands, especially through subscription services like Kindle Unlimited.

It's reasonable to assume that Kindle Unlimited will also be an automatic part of Amazon Prime in Australia, and once customers are on board with that, the upgrade to Prime will probably start looking like much better value for money.

In other words, the real value of this partnership for Amazon might not be from selling Kindles, but rather from getting some more subscribers.

Whether or not Myer ends up getting equivalent value remains to be seen. Ereader sales are dropping off, and by itself the Kindle might not be impressive enough to move the needle as a wanted brand.

Even if Kindles don't exactly fly off the shelves, Amazon likely has every reason to be pleased and can expect value for money from subsequent subscriptions. Myer, however, might be more at mercy of hard Kindle sales numbers.

Shipping costs are still one of the main obstacles to e-tailing in Australia, but it's only going to get cheaper and easier. As it does, Myer's role as an Amazon retailer might become increasingly tenuous.


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