The History Of Amazon.Com

A history of the worldwide media retailer Amazon.com.

In a world where anyone can purchase just about anything online, it can be difficult to start and maintain a business selling goods online. Media such as CDs, books, and movies is a common ware being sold on the Internet. Over the last decade, online stores have come and gone so often, many people scoff at their inception. But Amazon.com is not such a company. It is one of the largest Internet sellers of media in the world today, and has expanded its selections to include clothing, beauty products, house wares, and thousands of other items.

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994. Originally the business was based out of his garage in his Bellevue, Washington home. A businessman by the name of Nick Hanauer believed in Bezos' idea and decided to invest $40,000 in the venture. When Amazon first decided to go online, its layout was not as flashy as it is today. In fact, the site looked very plain and unattractive to most visitors, causing the business to start out on shaky ground. A man by the name of Tom Alburg decided to invest $100,000 in Amazon in 1995, which helped the company fund a better looking website and hosting capabilities. When people began purchasing books from Amazon, Bezos was in awe that he had customers from all over the country, not just Washington State, purchasing books.

Bezos decided that he had to create more than just a bookstore if he wanted people to come back as customers. He added the option of buyers to write their own book reviews, which is a huge credit to Amazon.com's success. People began to look at Amazon as more of an online community and not just a place to purchase things. By 1997, Amazon.com had generated $15.7 million in revenue. Once the company went public the same year, they decided to add CDs and movies to the website. In 1998, Amazon added some new items to the roster: software, electronics, video games, toys, and home improvement items. Once the company began showing signs of success, people became skeptic and claimed that Amazon was getting too large in too short an amount of time.



At the end of 1999, Amazon had raked in over a billion dollars in sales. It seemed as though the profit would never cease. However, in 2001, Amazon reported a fiscal loss of $1.4 billion, and had laid off over 200 workers in the last year. The beginning of 2001 found Amazon laying off even more workers, totaling over 1000. Instead of giving up, Bezos had an idea: recruit other companies to sell their products online through Amazon as well. The idea worked. Companies such as Target, Toys R Us, Old Navy, and many others have agreed to sell their items through Amazon. Although Amazon is not directly responsible for inventory through these companies, they do get part of the sales, creating a profit for all involved. Since the inception of the idea, Amazon is now back on its feet and remains one of the most popular online vendors in the world today.

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