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Amazon says it is bringing retail shopfront service to Australia

SYDNEY Global retail juggernaut Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it plans to offer its retail shopfront service in Australia, confirming rumors which have circulated for years about its plans to expand into the world's 12th-largest economy.The Seattle-based firm said in an email that after offering its internet cloud service in Australia in 2012 and opening an online e-book store in 2013, "the next step is to bring a retail offering to Australia". "We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace," the email said, referring to the company's online retail shopfront service.Amazon Marketplace now handles half of all sales on its websites globally, the company said in a posting on its Australian website. Thousands of Australian businesses sold products on existing Amazon Marketplaces in other countries, it added. The Australian operation would be the company's fourth Amazon Marketplace in Asia after China, Japan and India and its 12th globally. It has three Amazon Marketplaces in the United States and five in Europe. The company did not give a timeline for its move on Australia or details about where it wanted to locate its facility.It currently employed nearly 1,000 people in Australia. (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Stephen Coates)
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