How Amazon became the world's largest retailer

Friday, 24 July 2015

Amazon is offially the world's largest retailer by value. That means it is larger than Wal-Mart, Macy's, eBay or any department store group on the planet. For a company that started out selling books out of its founder's garage, things have come a long way.

This week saw the etailer's profits soar 19 percent, surpassing Wal-Mart and on its way to become America's leading fashion and apparel retailer by 2017.

So how did the company, after a history of highly documented losses due to its expansion, turn the corner and make a huge profit in the three months to June 30?

Group operating profit was 50 million dollars over its prediction, at 464m dollars, and increasing margins helped it reach a 114 percent rise in operating profit at the North American retail business.

Success is due in part to customer service

“The teams at Amazon have been working hard for customers,” founder Jeff Bezos explained. While that answer may seem vague, the gist of how Amazon achieved such stellar sales figures is due to its Amazon Web Services, its electronics department, but more importantly Amazon shifted lots more general merchandise, and that means fashion.

So the big question the fashion industry is asking is could Amazon become America’s biggest clothing vendor earlier than 2017, as analysts are currently predicting? The answer is a very plausible yes.

Suki Waterhouse will front the new UK campaign

In the UK Amazon has signed London model and actress Suki Waterhouse to front its first European fashion advertising campaign. Waterhouse will join photographer Cass Bird and fashion writer Julia Sarr-Jamois in creating a campaign for the Autumn/Winter 2015 collections celebrating ‘individual style’. The campaign also signalled the opening of Amazon’s massive photography studio in London’s Shoreditch. The studio will produce the thousands of photographs and videos a day needed to promote the fashion brands sold on all the European Amazon websites.

Sergio Bucher, vice-president of Amazon Fashion EU, told The London Evening Standard: "Our aim is to make Amazon the best place to buy fashion online. The opening of our new fashion studio illustrates our ambitions. Our new studio will enable us to produce more than half a million images a year."

London customers have 1 hour delivery service

Earlier this month Amazon unveiled its one-hour delivery service, Prime Now, in selected areas of London. The online giant plans to expand the programme to additional cities in the UK by the end of the year. For 6.99 pounds Amazon Prime members can have orders worth 20 pounds or more delivered in an hour.

The London launch is the first time Prime Now is available outside of the US, where it began offering the service six months ago.

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