Online sales war heats up as Amazon announces second Melbourne centre

Online sales war heats up as Amazon announces second Melbourne centre

The war for Australia's retail shopping dollar is heating up with international online sales giant Amazon planning to open a second Melbourne fulfilment centre late next year.

At 37,000 sqm the new facility will be almost twice the size of the MCG and will create about 300 jobs on completion.

Based at Ravenhall in Melbourne's outer west, the centre will bookend the city for the Jeff Bezos-led Amazon, joining the existing centre in Dandenong South in the east.

The new centre will also dwarf its older 24,000 sqm sibling and will have the capacity to house up to six million items.

The move follows the company's announcement of plans for another centre in Brisbane's east in June.

Amazon, which was founded by Bezos in 1994 and started life as an online book seller, opened its first Australian fulfilment centre in Melbourne in December 2017, followed by centres in Sydney and Perth in 2018 and 2019.

It could be a win for consumers with the expansion laying the base for an online sales war with Australia's traditional retailers such as Myer, which reiterated its plans to bulk up its online sales at its annual general meeting yesterday.

Amazon Australia director of operations Craig Fuller said the company had invested significantly in its Victorian operations this year to ensure it could continue to improve delivery promises to customers in the state. 

"Our investment in this new Melbourne fulfilment centre will benefit customers around Victoria, while creating hundreds of jobs for Melbournians in a safe work environment, with competitive pay at a time when they are needed most," he said. 

"This centre will also provide additional capacity for Victorian-based small and medium sized businesses who utilise the Fulfilment By Amazon service to benefit from our expanded capability and seamlessly serve customers across the country."

Amazon worked with Dexus to secure the location for the centre at the Horizon 3023 estate, a 127 ha site located in a West Melbourne industrial precinct which adjoins the Caroline Springs train station and is close to the proposed Western Intermodal Freight Terminal. 

Dexus has commenced works on the site and will ensure it meets Amazon's specific requirements, supporting more than 200 construction jobs over the development and fit-out phase. The lease for the centre was facilitated by CBRE's Industrial & Logistics business.

Dexus's chief investment officer Ross Du Vernet said the public transport and high-quality amenity in the precinct were appealing to customers who were focused on their employees.

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