Bosses of NZX and ASX-listed outdoor goods retailer Kathmandu Holdings are relaxed about Amazon's arrival to Australia, saying they have already held discussions with the online juggernaut and planned to sell their wares via that platform.
Xavier Simonet, chief operating officer and Reuben Casey, chief financial officer, both expressed enthusiasm for the giant's entry into Australasia, establishing a presence in Melbourne soon.
"Certainly Amazon is a risk and an opportunity as well. We see it as a commercial channel. We already sell on Amazon in Europe and we've been doing that for three to four years," Simonet said.
Casey added: "We also sell on TradeMe in New Zealand and eBay in Australia."
But Kathmandu itself decides what to sell online, what price to set and how it promotes its goods, they said, indicating the business remained firmly in charge of its internet sales destiny.
"From that point of view, we see Amazon as an opportunity for us," Simonet said.
However he does acknowledge drawbacks: "It will create more competition also and that's the challenge."
Online Kathmandu sales increased 16 per cent last year, he said. Kathmandu now sells around $33m worth of goods online, equivalent to around 7.5 per cent of all sales by dollar value in the July, 2017 year, Casey said.
However he stressed that Kathmandu customers would be better off shopping online directly with Kathmandu because they received significant benefits by doing so which they didn't get elsewhere online.
"If you are a loyal customer of Kathmandu, you get loyalty points and receive a $20 discount voucher for every $500 you spend. So you're better to buy through that channel," Casey said.
Clothing was more popular online than other items such as camping equipment which people often wanted to see and touch before they bought, he said.
Online sales have not dented Kathmandu's physical expansion plans. The company said in an NZX presentation out today that it planned to have 180 Australasian stores but no further details of when or where.
"We have not set a confirmed timeline on that," Simonet said.
"Most of those will be in Australia. There might be one or two in New Zealand but mostly Australasia," Casey said, naming Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and some regional areas across the Tasman.
The company was particularly proud of a new store opened on the ground floor of the giant Chadstone shopping centre in Melbourne as part of an expansion of that mall, with more than 9000 carparks and the biggest collection of luxury retail brands in one location in Australasia, Simonet and Casey said.
In early August, Amazon confirmed it would open its first retail logistics warehouse in Australia in Dandenong South, Melbourne. The online retailing and tech conglomerate said that the 24,000sq m 'fulfilment centre' would be "an integral early step" in its effort to establish a retail presence in Australia.
Amazon added that it would begin recruiting immediately for operations managers, systems technicians and warehouse workers at the centre in Dandenong South, about 30km southeast of Melbourne's central business district.
No launch date has yet been announced for the Amazon centre.