International Online Shopping giant Amazon plans to launch an online marketplace in South Africa as part of a global expansion in the coming year.
Leaked documents that were seen by Business Insider (paywalled) show the retail giant plans to expand at least five new territories in the coming year including Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Nigeria, and South Africa.
Amazon’s launch plans for South Africa – which it codenamed ‘Project Fela’ – show the company expects to launch its marketplace in South Africa by February 2023. This will include its own marketplace and the launch of the Prime membership programme. The country also plans to launch in Nigeria in April 2023 under the same project codename.
In January 2022, MyBroadband reported that Amazon was shopping around for warehouse space in South Africa. Amazon however did not comment about its plans for the warehouses, but industry speculation suggested that it was looking to launch online shopping services.
It has since come to light that Amazon has secured warehouse space in South Africa and is now in discussions with courier companies and local fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers. Amazon faces competition in the online shopping space, most notably from Naspers-owned Takealot. Takealot also owns delivery service Mr. D and online fashion store Superbalist under its local umbrella.
In its results published in November, the group grew revenues by 36%, while trading losses decreased to near break even with a trading loss of $2 million (R31 million).
Mr. D Food delivered great results with order volumes growing 88% as consumer spending shifted from restaurant dining to online delivery, Naspers said. Superbalist grew revenue and trading margins despite increasing competition from brick-and-mortar fashion retailers.