Amazon has had a presence in Europe since the late ’90s. But outside of France, Germany and the UK, the retailer was slow to invest in the region in a meaningful way. That changed in 2017, when Amazon initiated plans to build 1,300 warehouses across the continent.
Amazon’s advantage when entering new markets is its ability to offer a wide variety of items that can be shipped quickly. By fortifying its place in Europe, Amazon aims to take advantage of rising consumer spending.
In 2018, ecommerce sales in Western Europe will climb 11.6% to $381.58 billion. While growth will be slow in most markets, none will experience a sales decline. This trend reflects a positive swing from the debt crisis that kicked off the decade for Europe.
Amazon has already targeted Italy as an opportunity for growth. In 2016, the company committed $550 million to the market. The move was well timed, as Italy’s economic recovery accelerated in 2017 and unemployment began to fall. As of May 2018, unemployment is at 10.7%, which may seem high but that’s the lowest it’s been in six years. These factors will spur ecommerce sales growth of 12.8%, to $16.84 billion this year.