Here’s what you need to know before starting the weekend.

1. Confirmed: Amazon is coming to Australia

The US online retail giant is going down under in a big way.

Amazon is actively looking for a warehouse to become a fulfillment center, the first of many in Australia, with floor space of up to 93,000 square meters. Amazon will also start hiring to add hundreds more to the 1000 employees already in Australia

The brief statement said:

“Amazon Web Services launched an Australian region in 2012, we launched a Kindle store on in 2013 and we now have almost 1000 employees in the country. We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most — low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery — over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers.”

“The next step is to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now.”

In Australia, Amazon is already selling entertainment, including ebooks and Amazon Prime streaming of television series and movies.

The next stage is local ordering and local delivery of goods from and within Australia.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. iFlix will produce original content in Southeast Asia

iFlix announced today it’s going to produce its own original content in the vein of its US-headquartered competitor. Its first original TV show is called Magic Hour, a spin off from an Indonesian film.

iFlix is also planning a comedy series and has inked a deal with Malaysian studio Skop Productions to stream its movies less than a month after they’ve left cinemas.

Read the rest of the story here


3. Chinese ecommerce giant JD plans shift into offline retail plans to open more than 1 million JD convenience stores across the country in the next five years, with half of them located in rural areas.

Owners of the stores could order goods, including consumer electronics, home appliances, clothing and home furnishings through JD’s application software. JD will be responsible for logistics and distribution to the stores, according to the company.

 Jason Yu, general manger of consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel, said: “The network of stores will help JD to enhance its O2O presence in the fast-moving consumer goods sector. To address the last-mile delivery challenge, the move can help consumers to order products at nearby stores.”

Read the rest of the story here.


4. Recommended Reading: The book of V-Commerce

Andy Dunn, founder of online retailer Bonobos writes about digitally native vertical brands.

The v-commerce brand requires the commercialization of an e-commerce channel, but that channel is an enablement layer — it’s not the core asset. VC’s sometimes think these should be valued like technology companies.

Some of the valuations still reflect this misguided notion. These are retailers, not tech companies.

Read the rest of the story here.


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