Payoff Still Elusive In Internet Gold Rush. Seth Schiesel, 2 January 1997. But Jeff P. Bezos, founder and chief executive of Seattle-based Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com), which bills itself as “Earth’s biggest bookstore” and is generally regarded as one of the big Internet success stories, with sales increasing by more than one-third each month for the last 18 months, put things in a different light.
“We are not profitable,” he said. “We could be. It would be the easiest thing in the world to be profitable. It would also be the dumbest. We are taking what might be profits and reinvesting them in the future of the business. It would literally be the stupidest decision any management team could make to make Amazon.com profitable right now.” (The New York Times).
Amazon.com Is Expanding Beyond Books. Saul Hansell, 5 August 1998. So far, Amazon.com’s only expansion beyond books has been to add music compact disks earlier this year. But Mr. Bezos said in an interview yesterday, “We’re at an inflection point where we are now looking at a broader range of products.”
In contrast to its handling of books and music, Amazon.com does not necessarily plan to sell other products directly, Mr. Bezos said. Rather, it will help customers find merchandise from other Internet stores. “Our focus has always been to help people find and discover things they want to buy,” Mr. Bezos said. “We’re not limited to selling our own stuff.” (The New York Times).
Amazon.com Moving Into Drug and Cosmetic Retailing. Saul Hansell, 25 February 1999. Building an on-line pharmacy is difficult because of the complexity of making it fast and easy to use for buying a large number of small items. So far sites offering groceries over the Internet have had disappointing results, though they face the additional challenge of handling perishable goods. And Wal-Mart, which had originally emphasized staples on its large Internet site, has changed to focus on bigger-ticket items like electronics. (The New York Times).