E-commerce giant Amazon officially commenced operations in Israel on Sunday evening, offering local delivery to customers from a range of Israeli brands.The long-awaited website launch, only in English for now, will provide its Local Delivery program to professional sellers with inventory in Israel who offer standard shipping of three to five days transit time, or faster. The Hebrew-language website is expected to go live in the coming weeks.Israeli consumers logging onto the Amazon website are met by leading local sellers, offering electronics, clothing, kitchen products and other consumer items. Shoppers are also able to buy local brands at prices listed in shekels. Local brands taking immediate advantage of Amazon’s local delivery services include Electra, Adika, SeboCalm, Shomrat Hazorea and 019mobile.Anticipation has been building in recent months ahead of the launch, just in time for Israeli consumers to order gifts to celebrate the Jewish New Year. In August, Amazon launched a website to encourage sellers to start deliveries to Israeli customers.“Participate in the Local Delivery program to grow your business and increase sales with no additional seller fees,” Amazon encouraged potential sellers. “Local Delivery enables you to fulfill orders to customers in Israel, using inventory stored in Israel.”To ship products locally to Israeli customers, Amazon will enable sellers to handle deliveries via their preferred carriers. To ship products to US customers, sellers will be able to use the company’s “Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA) program or handle international shipping themselves using the carrier of their choice. In 2018, Amazon’s annual net sales increased by 31% to NIS 820.3 billion, with revenue from product sales reaching almost NIS 500 b. Last month, the company announced that net sales increased 20% to NIS 226.5 b. in the second quarter, compared with NIS 186.3 b. in the second quarter of 2018.The retail giant employs almost 650,000 full-time and part-time employees worldwide, in addition to independent contractors and temporary personnel.