Amazon has delayed its South African marketplace launch until the end of the year, a well-placed source told Daily Investor.
Amazon planned to launch a marketplace in South Africa in February 2023 and secured warehouse space for its operations.
Codenamed “Project Fela”, the eCommerce giant’s plans also included the launch of its “Fulfillment by Amazon” service for third-party sellers.
Amazon’s Prime membership programme was set to become available to South Africans shortly after its marketplace launch.
However, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy’s comments that they are focusing on costs, including laying off more than 18,000 employees, put these plans in question.
“Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so,” Jassy said.
“These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”
Well-placed sources close to Amazon’s South African operations said the company has paused its Nigerian rollout but is continuing its local marketplace launch.
However, because of the challenging environment, the South African marketplace launch has been delayed until Q3 or Q4 2023.
Daily Investor asked Amazon for feedback, but the company would not comment on its South African marketplace plans.
While Amazon is keeping mum on the project, its imminent marketplace launch in South Africa has been one of the worst-kept secrets in the eCommerce space.
Amazon has secured warehouse space in South Africa and is working with local courier companies and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers.
The Amazon.co.za domain has also previously appeared in the country drop-down list on the Amazon.com website.
Amazon has started hiring people to launch its marketplace in the country. Last year it advertised numerous positions, including managerial positions relating to its “ZA marketplace.”