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Dedicated Irish Amazon platform set to ‘transform’ Irish online shopping space

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Local firms must learn how to compete with Amazon head on or face losing business, according to Lansil Global chief, Alan Coughlan

Alan Coughlan, founder and CEO of Lansil Global, is currently building warehouses in the US in order to cut his delivery times to allow his clients keep pace with Amazon.

Coughlan, now based in Dubai, started the firm 10 years ago at the age of 27 after moving from Cobh, Co Cork to China. He now supplies everything from home and garden furniture to cosmetics, toys, apparel and more to European and American online retailers who operate on Facebook, Amazon, Shopify and other e-commerce platforms.

‘In Ireland at the moment it takes four or five days to get a delivery from a lot of websites. But in the UK it usually takes two or at most, three days.’ Above, an Amazon warehouse in Kegworth, UK. Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The third-party logistics provider now has extensive Chinese operations and this year, Lansil hit €40m in annual revenue. Coughlan hopes to reach €100m (€92m) in the coming years by expanding his warehouse network across the US and eventually into Europe, with the Netherlands a likely location.

Lansil opened its first warehouse in Texas after Coughlan realised that delivery times were a key factor in the success of his Chinese supply-chain business. He has just opened a new 32,000-square-foot (2,973 sq m) warehouse in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania with a third planned for Texas.

Each warehouse allows Coughlan to ramp up turnover by about $10m, he said.

A key motivation for the warehouse expansion is to try to match as much as possible the delivery speed of Amazon. By opening multiple US warehouses Lansil aims to reduce delivery times from a week down to just three days on average.

It means everybody else will have to step up their game or Amazon will take all of their inventory

This, he said, has not yet been a big factor for retailers or logistics firms in the Irish market where Amazon orders are originating from the retail giant’s platforms in other countries but all of that is about to change, he warned.

“When Amazon starts its Irish service then two-day delivery times are going to become essential across the industry,” he said.

Amazon.ie is set to launch in 2025, meaning faster delivery times for its Irish customers.​

“I think it is fantastic and long overdue. It means everybody else will have to step up their game or Amazon will take all of their inventory.”

‘Outside of Ireland. If you own an online brand, you have to be on Amazon.’ Above, Amazon’s warehouse in Baldonnel

Coughlan believes Amazon’s market dominance will force other companies to drastically improve delivery speeds.

“In Ireland at the moment it takes four or five days to get a delivery from a lot of websites. But in the UK it usually takes two or at most, three days. That is because of the influence of Amazon.”

The arrival of an Irish Amazon platform will force Irish retailers to consider placing their inventory on the Amazon marketplace, he said.

“Outside of Ireland. If you own an online brand, you have to be on Amazon. It would account for anywhere from 20pc of your revenue.”.

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