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Amazon.JPG
Type: Public
Industry: e-Commerce
Founded: 1994
Founder(s): Jeff Bezos
Headquarters: Washington
Country: USA
Employees: 33,700 (full-time and part-time)
Revenue: $34.20B
Website: amazon.com
Key People
Jeff Bezos, President, CEO, Chairman of the Board

Werner Vogels, VP & CTO
Mathew Work, VP, Alexa Research
Shelley Reynolds, VP Worldwide Controller, Principal Accounting Officer
Bill Carr, VP Digital Media
Colin Bodell, VP Website Application Platform
Jeffrey Wilke, SVP, North American Retail

nTLDStats
TLDs: 52
Registrations: 2,405

More Info: nTLDStats

Amazon.com Inc. is a global leader in e-Commerce and the largest online retail store in the United States and in 45 other countries worldwide offering a wide range of products from books, electronics, games, home and garden, movies, music, toys and many other products.

Background

Jeff Bezos, a young hedge fund analyst, founded Amazon in 1994 as an online bookstore. At first, he planned to call his company Cadabra but he changed his mind because it sounds like “cadaver.” He finally decided to call the company Amazon.com after one of the world’s largest rivers, the Amazon, which represents the gigantic number of books he planned to sell online. Jeff’s parents were the first investors in the company and entrusted him with $300,000 from their retirement savings.[1]

Bezos officially launched the Amazon online bookstore on July 6th, 1995, offering one million titles. The first book that was purchased was "Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought." He used his garage as his working area and warehouse. In 1996, Bezos move to a new headquarters, a small warehouse, and hired 11 people to help him with his operations. He decided to just maintain a small inventory of books in the warehouse and trusted his suppliers to ship every order promptly. The company grew rapidly at the end of 1996. Bezos later decided move to a bigger warehouse in downtown Seattle. During that time, his employees increased from 11 to 151. [2]

In 1997, the company announced the [Initial Public Offering of stocks and started trading on NASDAQ under “AMZN”.[3] The company initially offered 3 million shares at $18 per share and at the end of the trading it closed at $23.25 per share. Amazon sold $54 million worth of stock in one day.[4]

Company Expansion

Since its IPO of stocks, Amazon's sales continued to increase; and in 1998 the company was already offering 3.1 million titles. It also acquired the Internet Data Base and opened its music store.

In 1999, the company acquired Alexa Internet, Tool Crib of the North's Online and Catalog Sales Division and it also opened four fulfillment centers. The company also launched the Amazon.com Auction and added the consumer electronics, toys and games, home improvement, software, video games and gift ideas stores and the zShops. Time Magazine also recognized Jeff Bezos as 1999 "Person of the Year." [5]

In 2000, Amazon had approximately 16 million customers and it became the most popular e-Commerce company in the United States. The increasing number of customers inspired the management to create a new logo to represent the company’s message; the arrow under the name Amazon represents its offerings of everything from A to Z. The arrow is also an illustration of a smile from a customer who is happy and satisfied purchasing a product from the company. [6]

During the dot com bubble burst, the majority of e-Commerce companies went bankrupt but Amazon is one of the few to carry on with the operations of the business and climb the ladder of success; it continued to open more stores, achieving the company goal of offering every product available in the market and kept introducing different programs to entice more customers to shop on the website, such as the super saver shipping offer, look inside the book, consumer reviews, etc.

Amazon also acquired more businesses, expanded its operations internationally, opened more fulfillment centers and created partnerships with different companies and launched more stores, programs and opportunities for consumers as well as small entrepreneurs.

Acquisitions

  1. Internet Movie Data Base (1998)
  2. Alexa Internet (1999)
  3. Tool Crib of the North Online & Catalog Sales Division (1999)
  4. Joyo.com Limited (2004)
  5. Book Surge LLC (2005)
  6. Custom Flix Labs,Inc. (2005)
  7. Shopbop.com (2006)
  8. Fabric.com (2008)
  9. Abe Books (2008)
  10. Zappos.com (2009)
  11. BuyVIP.com (2010)
  12. LOVEFilm International Limited (2011)

International Operations

Amazon.com Inc.has international operations in six countries and established its software development center in Scotland.[7]

  1. United Kingdom- Amazon.co.uk
  2. Germany - Amazon.de
  3. France - Amazon.fr
  4. Japan - Amazon.co.jp
  5. Canada - Amazon.ca
  6. China - www.joyo.com.cn

Business Alliances

  1. Toys "R" Us- A 10 year alliance was created in 2000.[8]
  2. Borders Group- In 2001 Amazon took-over the online operations of Borders, the second largest bookseller in the US. The company CEO, Greg Josefowicz believed that Amazon is better at online retail and the partnership will give better service to Borders' online customers.[9]
  3. Target- The company signed and e-commerce agreement in 2001[10]
  4. National Basketball Association- The partnership was inked in 2003 wherein Amazon will serve as the e-commerce platform for both the men and women's basketball league website.[11]
  5. The Bombay Company[12]
  6. Diane Von Furstenberg Studio Alliance- In 2005 Amazon announced the DVF studios chose Amazon to create and maintain its websites.[13]
  7. Sears Canada, Inc.- signed an e-commerce alliance with Amazon to develop its online brand and business using the tools and technology provided by Amazon.[14]

Financial Performance

During the fourth quarter of 2010, the company reported a revenue increase of 36% to $12.95 billion. The company's income increased by 8% to $416 million compared to $384 million in 2009. The company's cash flow operating expenses for the last 12 months in 2010 also increased by 6% at $3.50 billion compared with 3.29 billion in 2009.[15]

According to Jeff Bezos, the company achieved their first $10 billion quarter after customers purchased millions of third generation Kindles. He said, "Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com".[16]

Other Businesses

Aside from selling products on its online store, the company is also engaged in different businesses such as:[17]

  1. selling e-commerce platforms to other retailers
  2. providing fulfillment and customer service capabilities to other businesses
  3. offering technology infrastructures through a set of web services technologies enabling developers to use the Amazon servers (EC2, S3, SQS)
  4. operates its subsidiary search website A9.com
  5. runs Alexa.com, a a web search and metrics website
  6. manages the internet movie database, IMDb.com
  7. runs Endless.com, a shoe and handbag store
  8. operates the internet advertising platform, Clickriver.com
  9. manages a human task marketplace called Mechanicalturk.com, as well as the question and answer marketplace Askville.com
  10. runs the product wiki Amapedia.com

References