After hitting what appears to be an all-time high of $861.74 during Tuesday morning trading last week, Amazon (AMZN) cooled off somewhat over the course of last week and into the final days of March.
AMZN is still riding into the tail end of Q1, though prices continue to back off from its peak. At the time of writing, AMZN was up 0.12 percent from last week’s close to $846.60 — still well at the top of its 12-month range and up 12.85 percent since the beginning of 2017. Amazon’s estimated market cap was just over $403.1 billion.
Not everything has progressed smoothly for the online retail giant as of late. In the past few weeks, Amazon has faced some challenges and delays in major domestic and international expansion efforts.
Recently, news broke that Amazon had run up against a roadblock in its play to revolutionize brick-and-mortar grocery shopping. The online retail giant has reportedly delayed the public opening of Amazon Go due to technical difficulties with its “Just Walk Out” system.
During employee beta testing that began in December of last year, Amazon’s system for monitoring and tracking customer item selection reportedly ran into trouble keeping tabs on items once they had been moved from their shelf when more than 20 people were in the store at one time, said The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology — once it works — will mean no lines and no waiting for grocery shoppers. A virtual shopping cart processes what customers take from Amazon Go shelves and automatically adds it to their purchase list, charging their Amazon account upon their exit.
Amazon has yet to comment on the delay or give an update on when Amazon Go will be up and running to the public. So for now, shoppers will keep waiting and grocers will have a bit more time to prepare for the “Amazon Effect” to kick in for their market segment.
By the looks of things, Lazada might also get a bit more time to prepare for an Amazon entry into the Southeast Asian eCommerce market.
Amazon’s plan, as first heard in November of last year, was to launch Amazon Prime and AmazonFresh services, starting in Singapore in the first quarter of the year, as a means to roll into the region of over 620 million. Southeast Asia’s internet economy is projected to become a $278 billion market by 2025.
But now, sources indicate that Amazon has delayed its launch, though Amazon has not yet made an official statement on the change.
This wasn’t the only international move that Amazon put on hold. Amazon’s reported deal to acquire Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com may have hit yet another snag.
After suspending talks in January, Souq and Amazon rekindled discussions last month. Souq currently sells an estimated 1.5 million items in the fast-growing Middle Eastern eCommerce market in the UAE, Saudia Arabia, Egypt and Kuwait — a market that Amazon is keen to enter.
But according to Bloomberg News, Amazon’s $650 million offer for Souq.com was just recently challenged by an approximately $800 million bid from Emaar Malls, the retail division of Dubai’s largest publicly traded property developer.
No final decision has been made.
But it wasn’t all delays and complications for the online retail giant over the past few weeks — new hires indicate Amazon might be setting up shop in Australia.
ABC News Australia reported that the company had recently hired over 100 employees in logistics, IT and security roles in Sydney — indicating that Amazon is looking to run warehouses locally in the country of over 24 million.
Australian retailers are naturally concerned.
A move into Australia would increase the number of products and services the online retail giant can provide while also cutting down on delivery times, meaning consumers will move in even greater numbers away from local brick-and-mortar establishments.