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Amazon Ireland arrival means ‘consumers need to make hard decisions’

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Irish consumers will have to make ‘hard decisions’ with the impending arrival of Amazon.ie.

The online retail giant has confirmed it is launching a new dedicated website for Ireland in 2025.

From next year, customers of the online retailer will be able to access Amazon.ie – meaning faster delivery and returns while avoiding customs charges or currency conversion fees.

Amazon employs 6,500 people in Cork, Dublin and Drogheda.

Read more: ‘Here’s why you shouldn’t trust online shopping reviews’

Irish Times Consumer Affairs Correspondent Conor Pope told Newstalk Britain’s exit from the European Union was a major factor.

“The big thing that people can look forward to is faster deliveries and perhaps a larger selection of products for sale on the Amazon.ie platform,” he said.

“Up until now, and in fact for the last 25 years, Irish shoppers shopping on Amazon have had to either shop on the Amazon.co.uk site or the Amazon.com website.

“Up until Brexit shopping on the ‘.co.uk’ site wasn’t really a problem for Irish consumers.

“But once Brexit came in it became a significant problem because there was a lot of higher taxes, higher duties that had to be paid on products coming from the UK”.

Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Dublin. Image: Amazon/Karl Hussey

It follows the launch of Amazon’s first Irish fulfilment centre back in 2022 which created 500 new jobs.

Conor said the “next logical step on that road” was a dedicated Irish website.

“Amazon sells a lot of products itself via its own distribution centres – but it also acts as the platform for other sellers to sell,” he said.

“That has become something of a problem in recent times as a result of Brexit.

“A lot of UK-based websites that sell on Amazon.co.uk decided not to sell into the Republic of Ireland because there was far too much paperwork as a result of Brexit.

“An awful lot of products that would once have been available to Irish shoppers were no longer available”.

Amazon Ireland & effect on Irish businesses

Conor said Amazon will be hoping to massively grow its Irish footprint when it comes to SMEs.

“One of the things that Amazon.ie will be hoping is that it will be able to bring a lot of small and medium-sized Irish businesses on to its platform to sell to shoppers in the Republic of Ireland and outside of the Republic,” he said.

“At present Amazon has around 1,000 Irish sellers selling on its platform.

“With the creation of Amazon.ie it will be hoping to dramatically expand that reach and cater for an awful lot more Irish businesses”.

‘A real risk’

Asked if the change is a concern for Irish businesses, Conor said consumers need to think about their shopping habits.

“I think consumers need to make hard decisions with the arrival of an Amazon.ie platform,” he said.

“It might be that some products are available for less on the Amazon.ie platform – but people will shop there exclusively at their peril.

“What you don’t want to see happening is for the small and medium-sized Irish retailers… wiped out as a result of this online giant.

“That is a real risk.”

An Amazon delivery van on Havelock Square in Dublin. An Amazon delivery van on Havelock Square in Dublin. Image: Amazon/Gareth Chaney

Conor said many Irish firms offer just as good value as Amazon.

“I think it’s important to note the fact that an awful lot of Irish retailers offer better or comparable value to Amazon.ie.

“They have a significant online presence and they might have comparable or better aftercare.

“What you don’t want to see happening is that people relentlessly chase the bottom line, relentlessly seek cheaper prices by shopping on internet giants like Amazon… at the expense of supporting local retailers”.

Conor said while there are still questions to be answered around how Amazon Ireland will work, it will “offer more competition in the Irish retail space”.

Main image: Amazon’s fulfilment centre at Baldonnell Business Park in Dublin. Image: Amazon/Karl Hussey

Read more: Amazon to launch Irish website Amazon.ie in 2025

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