An Auckland architect whose business specialises in giant retail centres says Amazon could establish its own warehouse in New Zealand, after its move into Melbourne.
David Thornton, principal of The Buchan Group's New Zealand operations, said the online giant's arrival in Australasia could result in it subsequently establishing a huge goods warehouse in New Zealand in the next two to three years to speed items to Kiwis.
"We've heard there's talk of them eventually setting up a warehouse in New Zealand but it might be two years away. I imagine they will have a sizeable operation here, if they do set up," Thornton said.
Buchan has worked at Kiwi Property's Sylvia Park for some years but also works for Stride Property and other major retailing businesses.
An Amazon spokesperson in Australia told the Herald that there were no firm plans for any New Zealand warehouse at this point.
"We don't have anything further to share at this time," the spokeswoman said in response to questions about a New Zealand warehouse.
In July, brokerage firm Forsyth Barr tipped Amazon to expand into New Zealand after its arrival next year in Australia. In a research report to its clients, the firm said: "Once Australia is bedded in, New Zealand presents a logical extension to Amazon's investment in the region."
On August 3, Amazon announced it would "create hundreds of jobs of new jobs with the opening of its first Australian fulfilment centre in Dandenong South. Amazon will begin recruiting immediately for a range of roles, including operations managers, pickers, packers, systems technicians, and HR specialists."
Amazon recently announced its intention to bring a retail offering to Australia and the opening of this 24,000sq m fulfilment centre is an integral early step in the move towards that goal.
"We are thrilled to be creating hundreds of new roles in Dandenong South," said Robert Bruce, Amazon's director of operations for Australia.
"This is just the start. Over time, we will bring thousands of new jobs to Australia and millions of dollars of investment as well as opening up the opportunity for thousands of Australian businesses to sell at home and abroad through Amazon Marketplace."
"This new fulfilment centre will stock hundreds of thousands of products which will be available for delivery to customers across Australia when we launch our retail offering," said Bruce.
"We will be focusing on offering our Australian customers low prices on a great selection of products and can't wait to get started," Bruce said.
Forsyth Barr said increasing pressure would go on the retail landscape through Amazon's low-price model.
"Amazon is expected to physically enter the Australian market in late 2018," Forsyth Barr said.
"Consequently, the likelihood of Amazon entering the New Zealand market has increased."
Forsyth Barr said there were several possibilities for how Amazon may do business in New Zealand in the coming years, either through establishing a presence in the country, or setting up a fulfilment centre.
It may also choose to simply ship products from Australia to New Zealand customers, it said.