Amazon launches bigger local online store in Singapore

FILE PHOTO: An employee works at Amazon's Prime Now fulfilment centre in Singapore, July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Inc AMZN.O has launched a bigger local store and marketplace in Singapore, expanding its product selection and intensifying competition with rivals such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's BABA.N Lazada and Sea Ltd's SE.N Shopee.

The U.S. company launched local online shopping in the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state more than two years ago with its fast delivery service through a mobile app. But its initial local selection, which focused on groceries and household essentials, has not been as wide as those offered by rivals.

“With, we want to provide what customers have been asking us for: the ability for everyone to shop on desktop and mobile, more local and international selection from Amazon and trusted sellers, paired with fast and reliable delivery,” Henry Low, Amazon Singapore country manager, said in a statement.

Amazon also said it will allow small and medium-sized businesses to offer their products to online shoppers with Other e-commerce firms including Lazada mainly operate via a marketplace model in Singapore.

Singapore, a small but high-value market with a population of just 5.7 million, is often seen as a launchpad for consumer-focused companies into much bigger Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, home to over 260 million people.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Christopher Cushing