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Amazon.com, Inc. is an American company founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. The company sells books, hardware, groceries, apparel, and millions of other products, as well as online services such as instant video, streaming music, and its own branded entertainment on its retail websites. Amazon has both a United States and international arm, and is known for the Kindle e-reader and the Fire smartphone.

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29 Sep, 1999



zShopAmazon opens its online retail website to third party merchants for a small fee. The company adds 500,000 new products to its inventory (about four times the offerings of the average Kmart). Bezos:

Sixteen months ago, we were a place we could come to find books. Tomorrow, we will be a place to find anything, with a capital A.

Merchants pay $9.99 a month to list their products on the site, and Amazon in turn learns more about the spending and purchasing habits of its customers.

8 Jan, 1999

Adds warehouse


Amazon leases a highly mechanized warehouse in Fernely, thirty miles east of Reno, Nevada. The move reflects the company’s commitment to fulfill its 7.5 million orders of books, CDs and videos as reported in its last quarterly report. The company makes on average thirty-three dollars an order. The warehouse occupies eight acres of space and adds to the company’s existing distribution centers in Seattle and New Castle, Delaware. The new facility will employ three hundred people. Bezos:

Everything we do at Amazon.com is designed to continually enhance the shopping experience, and reducing delivery time does exactly that …. And this place is so huge, we can stock far more titles ready to ship right away.

4 Aug, 1998

Expands beyond books


Amazon buys Junglee Corporation and Planet All. The combined purchases will allow the online bookseller to go beyond books and compact discs to sell computer hardware and apparel on its retail website. Bezos:

We’re at an inflection point where we are now looking at a broader range of products.

Amazon has 3.1 million customers and made $203 million dollars already this fiscal term.

31 Mar, 1997

IPO filing


Amazon files with security regulators to sell 2.5 million shares in its first public offering, according to the Security and Exchange Commission. The company expects to sell shares at $13 each, which values the company at $299 million.