South Africa

Takealot CEO opens up about Amazon coming to South Africa

Mamongae Mahlare

Takealot CEO Mamongae Mahlare said Amazon.com’s imminent launch in South Africa is a great compliment to Takealot and the people who built the business.

Speaking to The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield, she said it demonstrates that Takealot has built an investment case big enough for global companies like Amazon to take note.

She added that Amazon.com coming into the market is a testament to eCommerce’s tremendous opportunity in South Africa. “It clearly indicates that Amazon sees the scale of the opportunity,” she said.

These comments came following reports that Amazon expects to launch a new marketplace in South Africa in February 2023.

It also plans to launch its Fulfillment by Amazon service for third-party sellers, with an Amazon Prime membership programme to follow shortly after launch.

Although Amazon has not confirmed these plans, MyBroadband reported that Amazon had secured warehouse space in South Africa.

The company is also reportedly in discussions with courier companies and local fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers in the country.

Amazon is well-known for its aggressive prices, and should it launch an online shopping marketplace in South Africa, there will be increased pricing pressure on Takealot.

Mahlare does not seem concerned about Amazon.com’s imminent launch, saying their shareholder, Naspers, has invested in Takealot for the long term.

“They have a long-term view on the business and the size of the opportunity,” she said.

Mahlare said although growth has slowed since the spike in sales during the lockdown, there are still vast opportunities for eCommerce growth in South Africa.

She highlighted that eCommerce is still only 4% of retail in South Africa, which is significantly lower than in more developed markets.

“The opportunity for growth remains, and Takealot will develop and grow the adoption of eCommerce in the country,” she said.

Although the growth has slowed from the lockdown period, Mahlare said Takelaot is still growing, and there is still room for growth for many years to come.

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