Harvey Normans Worst Nightmare Just Got Bigger US Internet Threat

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Amazon.com, who is set to be one of the biggest threats to Australian technology and consumer electronics retailers, has lifted sales out of Australia by over 25% in the last quarter with books, Kindle eBook readers and PC technology contributing to the growth.Globally the online retailer has lifted sales by 36% in the last quarter to close to $13 billion.

In North America, net sales soared 45 percent to $7.2 billion during the fourth quarter and 46 percent to $18.7 billion for the full year.

Amazon sold $4.6 billion worth of CE and other general merchandise during the fourth quarter, an increase of 71 percent year-over-year, while category sales rose 74 percent for all of 2010, to nearly $11 billion.

According to Amazon executives the company is looking to grow their International sales from markets like Australia and the Asia Pacific region and that in the future, International visitors will be able to compare in-store prices to those online using a new Amazon iPhone Price Check application.

Amazon said that Worldwide Electronics & Other General Merchandise sales grew 60% to $7.39 billion in the quarter and that they plan to expand even further their penetration of markets like Australia with new gaming and IT products.

They said that Amazon.com is now selling more Kindle books than paperback books. Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the company has sold 115 Kindle books.

In the last quarter Amazon sold millions of third-generation Kindle devices which are available to Australian consumers for $138. Amazon is also giving Australian consumers access to over 540,000 English-language books to choose from; plus U.S. and international newspapers and magazines.

They are also offering New York Times, Best Sellers and new releases to Australian consumers for as low as $11.99. Local book stores and online book traders in Australia are offering the same books at between 50 & 100% mark up to the Amazon price.

They are also offering over 145,000 titles are priced under $5.99.

Amazon said that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was the bestselling product in Amazon’s history.

Recently Amazon introduced a Kindle for Android app for Australian consumer’s that allows them to buy, read and sync over 100 Kindle newspapers and magazines.

 All Kindle apps let customers “Buy Once, Read Everywhere”–on Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. All Kindle apps are free and incorporate Amazon’s Whispersync technology which allows readers to seamlessly switch between devices.

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