Amazon To Expand Into 5 New Countries

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Amazon, an American e-commerce company, says it is making plans to expand into five countries across Africa, Europe, and South America, while maintaining its base in the United States.

The five countries are Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Nigeria, and South Africa. The e-commerce platform will launch in Nigeria in April next year.

Amazon, which currently runs in 20 different countries, is investing in long-term growth while it scales up its US-based outlet.

According to the report, this could result in more competition for local e-commerce companies, which operates across Africa, and Mercado Libre, a leading online marketplace in Latin America.

It said the timing of the rollouts in a detailed timeline would be between 2022 and 2023.

“Belgium’s marketplace, called Project Red Devil, is slated for late September 2022,” the report reveals.

“The one in Colombia, dubbed Project Salsa, is scheduled for February 2023.

“South Africa, codenamed Project Fela, is also expected in February 2023.

“The marketplace in Nigeria is due to launch in April 2023. That project shares the codename Project Fela with South Africa.

“Chile is planned for April 2023, too. It shares the Project Salsa name with Colombia.”

The report also revealed that all countries are planning to launch their marketplace and access Amazon’s fulfilment service called ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’.

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It said that Amazon’s prime membership program is expected to be available at launch in Belgium, while other countries will get it shortly after their introductions.

“For example, Belgian shoppers, who are already able to sign up for prime through some of Amazon’s other European sites, will get their own dedicated prime service for a more consistent pricing and shopping experience,” it added.

Due to the decline in sales caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath effect, the company seeks to improve sales and generate more demand and growth.

Amazon has been scaling back hiring, subleasing warehouse space, and limiting delivery network expansion this year in anticipation of unforeseen slowdowns.

Its strategy of onboarding new sellers will help upscale its prolonged slowdown.

In January 2022, the federal government mandated non-resident companies (NRC) to remit 6 percent of turnover from digital services provided to Nigerian customers.

Amazon and other companies that provide services through apps, trading platforms, online ads etc are expected to give value-added tax (VAT) charges to customers and remit them to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

However, the presence of Amazon in Nigeria will be a threat to other e-commerce platforms such as Konga, and Jumia which is Africa’s biggest online marketplace.