Warsaw, Poland – US e-commerce giant Amazon announced it was entering the Polish market with the launch of a new local website.
Rumours about Amazon’s imminent entry on the Polish market had been circulating for months.
“Amazon has been supporting Polish customers for many years and helping to sell products of Polish entrepreneurs in our European stores”, Alex Ootes, vice-president for EU expansion, said in a statement on Wednesday. “The next stage is the introduction of a full retail offer for consumers in Poland and it is now time to take this step”.
Although Amazon has been present in Poland since 2014 with nine logistics centres, those were used to cater to other markets, and Polish customers had to make their purchases – with additional costs – on the retail giant’s international websites, including the German one, which offers a Polish-language version.
The largest US employer in the country, Amazon employed around 18,000 people in Poland at the end of last year after the opening of two new logistics centres, with an additional one expected to open in 2021, and the presence of the Amazon Technology Development Center in Gdansk and the Amazon Web Services branch in Warsaw.
The shares of local rival Allegro, the leading e-commerce firm in Poland who made a shining debut on the Warsaw Stock Exchange last year, went down as soon as the announcement was made, with experts expecting the Polish company to be forced into offering free delivery options to compete with Jeff Bezos’ retail giant.
Amazon has faced strong criticism in Poland over low wages and the precarious working conditions of its employees, who last year also complained the company had taken insufficient health and sanitary precautions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.