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Online giant Amazon lands in Italy

Retailer confident of success on new market

23 November, 17:25
Online giant Amazon lands in Italy (ANSA) - Rome, November 23 - Online retail giant Amazon landed in Italy on Tuesday with the launch of a new Italian-language site that it says will broaden choice for consumers and boost the nation's e-commerce sector. The retailer has grown into a $24.5-billion business since its birth in Seattle in 1994 thanks to a formula based on fast delivery and passing to customers savings derived from bulk buying and cutting out middlemen.

The new site has started out with a stock of around two million books to sell, along with music, films, videogames, watches, electronic and computer goods and toys.

The range of products is set to grow rapidly, Amazon said.

''This is only the beginning: over the next few months we'll enrich our range with even more (product) categories,'' founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a message posted on the site Tuesday.

''We're happy to be in Italy and hope you like our site''.

The goods listed featured photos and detailed descriptions and some, such as Ken Follett's latest bestseller Fall of Giants, already had reviews and ratings by Italian users. Previously clients in Italy wanting to buy products via Amazon had to use one of its sites for another country, which usually meant extra delivery costs.

The company is confident its arrival in Italy will be a success.

''We were already present in seven of the Group of Eight countries, Italy was the one we were missing,'' said Diego Piacentini, Amazon's senior vice president of international retail.

''Our arrival won't damage the rest of Italy's online retail market.

''E-commerce in Italy is so small at the moment that it can only be a good thing.

''This is a market where there isn't just one winner, there are lots of opportunities for everyone.

''Over the next few months we'll keep working so that all the categories available in the United States are available here too''. For the moment Amazon's Italian site will not give people the opportunity they have in other countries to buy and sell used goods on it.

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