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Amazon hiring in Australia for 'new and confidential Amazon Fresh initiative'

Is Jeff Bezos moving his grocery business beyond the US West Coast?

By Simon Sharwood, 8 Sep 2014

Amazon.com has advertised for a Brisbane, Australia-based software developer to work on a “new and confidential Amazon Fresh initiative”.

AmazonFresh is shopzilla's grocery delivery service and has hitherto been confined to Seattle and parts of California. But the company has previously signalled it is keen to bring AmazonFresh to 20 nations by the end of 2014.

So is this ad a sign that expansion is on? Against that proposition is the ad's offer of relocation to the right candidate. The ad also makes no mention of where the new and confidential initiative might operate.

Equating the appearance of the ad with an intention to bring AmazonFresh beyond the US West Coast is therefore dangerous: there are only so many software developers in the world and the likes of Amazon are generally willing to cast their nets wide in order to find them.

The ad also mentions AmazonFresh's current delivery zones a couple of times, further reducing the likelihood this ad signals international expansion.

Australia's current retail industry gives your correspondent pause to consider the hiring-for-local-expansion scenario, as the nation's supermarket business is dominated by a cosy duopoly of the sort Amazon likes to irritate.

Your correspondent's gut suggests this ad is probably a global talent trawl, but there's a strong chance - let's say 40 per cent - that The House of Bezos has decided to enter Australia's retail market as a grocer. If we're right, the move down under could signal further international expansion for AmazonFresh, which would set the catfood among the pigeons. ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing