(JNS.org) The online retail giant Amazon is preparing to set up a shipping center in Israel, in its latest move that could potentially shake up commerce in the Jewish state.
The company is currently negotiating leases on large warehouses in central Israel, while conducting market research on the shopping habits of Israelis, Calcalist reported Sunday.
According to reports, Amazon is seeking a minimum of 270,000 square feet in warehouse space and is likely to set up operations near Modi’in.
Once warehouse space has been negotiated, Amazon will purportedly release a version of its website that specifically targets Israeli consumers.
Amazon deliveries to Israel are currently facilitated through shipping centers in Europe and the U.S., causing high shipping costs and prolonging delivery times.
The company’s entrance into the Israeli retail marketplace could potentially have a significant impact on local merchants, as the high cost of living in Israel is already driving consumers to increasingly utilize online vendors in search of better prices.
Amazon opened a new research and development center in Tel Aviv in October, and in November initiated a massive hiring spree in Israel to attract top high-tech talent. The company has reportedly offered prospective Israeli hires salaries as high as NIS 100,000 ($28,180) per month, and is typically offering salaries of around NIS 60,000 ($16,900) per month with additional bonuses, far above Israel’s average wage.