Amazon’s Online Books to $33.4 Billion in Annual Sales: 5 Things to Know
Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series of articles on the impacts of Amazon’s rapid growth in Florida, covering effects on real estate, small business, labor market, politics and more.
Many people know Amazon for the company’s rapidly expanding product sales and shipping operations that offer same-day or next-day delivery of almost anything imaginable.
But that’s just one piece of the Seattle-based company, which had sales of $469.8 billion and profits of $33.4 billion last year (compared to $386.1 billion in sales and $21.3 billion in profits in 2020). Its sales rank Amazon.com Inc. second on Fortune magazine’s list of the nation’s largest companies, behind retail titan Walmart Inc.
Amazon’s vast business empire is detailed in the company’s latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“We serve consumers through our online and physical stores, and we focus on selection, price and convenience,” Amazon said in its latest 10-K Investor Report. “We design our stores to allow hundreds of millions of unique products to be sold by us and by third parties in dozens of product categories. Customers access our offerings through our websites, mobile apps, Alexa, devices, streaming, and by physically visiting our stores.
Amazon also makes and sells electronic devices, including Alexa voice assistants, Echo smart speakers, Fire tablets, Fire TV video streaming devices, Kindle e-book readers, and Ring security camera systems, as well. that develops and produces multimedia content.
Additionally, Amazon offers subscription services such as Amazon Prime, which the company describes as “a membership program that includes fast, free delivery of millions of items, access to award-winning movies and series, and other advantages”.
Its Amazon Web Services business offers cloud computing services.
The company was incorporated by Jeff Bezos in 1994 as an online book seller, and was initially run from the garage of his home in Bellevue, Washington. Bezos officially opened the “virtual doors” to its online store in July 1995. Today, the company has more than 1.6 million employees worldwide.
Amazon shares went public on May 15, 1997, and the initial public offering price was $18 per share. This is the equivalent of $1.50 per share, after adjusting for the stock splits that took place on June 2, 1998 (2-for-1 split), January 5, 1999 (3-for-1 split) and the 1 September 1999 (2 to 1 split).
In early March, shares of the company (ticker symbol: AMZN) were trading at over $3,040 per share on the Nasdaq stock market. But it has traded as high as $3,773.08 over the past year.
5 things to know about Amazon
Here are five more things to know about Amazon, as detailed in its latest announcement and corporate documents:
Increase in the preferential price: Amazon is raising the price of a Prime subscription in the US, with the monthly fee going from $12.99 to $14.99 and the annual subscription from $119 to $139. For new Prime members, the price change has come into effect February 18. For current Prime members, the new price will apply after March 25, on their next renewal date. Amazon said it was the first time Amazon had raised the price of Prime since 2018. The company cited the expansion of Prime member benefits, as well as rising wages and transportation costs, as reasons for the rising prices.
Bricks and mortar clothing store: Amazon Style, Amazon’s first physical store for clothing, opens this year at The Americana at Brand in Glendale, California. The company said Amazon Style “is built around personalization and innovation. It uses machine learning algorithms to produce personalized recommendations in real time as customers shop, making it easier than ever to discover. new looks.Customers will be able to have items sent to a fitting room at the touch of a button in the Amazon app and continue shopping from their fitting room without having to leave.
Make Alexa more proactive: Amazon has launched new features to make its digital assistant Alexa more proactive, conversational and personal. For example, customers can now teach Alexa their preferences, such as food and sports, which Alexa will remember when recommending recipes, local restaurants and sports scores. Additionally, if Alexa detects a washing machine beeping or the sound of running water, Alexa can alert customers that the laundry is done or to turn off the faucet.
Notable acquisitions: Amazon has grown over the years, both through increased sales in its core businesses and through a host of acquisitions. Notable deals over the years include footwear and apparel retailer Zappos in 2009 and Whole Foods Market in 2017. Amazon is seeking to acquire MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, but that deal is awaiting regulatory approval.
Guiding principles: Amazon says it is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus; passion for invention; commitment to operational excellence; and long-term thinking. Amazon says it strives to be “the world’s most customer-centric company”, “the world’s best employer” and “the world’s safest place to work”.
Bezos – founder of Amazon, former CEO and current executive chairman – is also known as the founder of space company Blue Origin. Bezos is suing Elon Musk (of SpaceX and Tesla fame) for the title of richest person in the world.
It’s a distinction Bezos previously held, before his 2019 divorce settlement reduced his net worth.
Blue Origin has invested $1.03 billion in facilities and created 735 direct jobs in Brevard County, according to estimates from Florida’s Space Coast Economic Development Commission.
Blue Origin’s goals include flying astronauts into space on its New Shepard rocket; produce reusable rocket engines; create a highly reusable orbital launcher with New Glenn; and take humans farther beyond low Earth orbit, such as to the moon. The spacecraft is named after two of the original Mercury 7 astronauts – Alan Shepard and John Glenn.
Bezos also owns The Washington Post, which he acquired in 2013.