What started as Earth's biggest bookstore has rapidly become Earth's biggest anything store. Expansion has propelled Amazon.com in innumerable directions. The firm's main Web site offers millions of books, CDs, DVDs, and videos (which still account for the majority, 65%, of the firm's sales), not to mention auto parts, toys, tools, electronics, home furnishings, apparel, health and beauty goods, prescription drugs, groceries, and services including film processing. Long a model for Internet companies that put market share ahead of profits, Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1995, it had 11 employees by year's end. Within four years, it had more than 1,600 employees and four million customers (Martin, 1996).
Largely known for its e-commerce success, like Harrison-Keys plans to accomplish, Amazon.com, an original web-based company, has ventured into many areas to increase profitability and enhance its products and services with trendy goods. Amazon started out as an online bookstore, constantly making news with the number of titles it offered for sale. In the late 1990s, Amazon had more than four million titles after adding CDs, videos, DVDs and games. It continued to add new lines of business including toys, consumer electronics, software, power tools, home improvement products and online auctions (Haines, 1998).
While Amazon is considered a pioneer in online retailing, they've had their share of growing pains. To help broaden the company's distribution capabilities, and to ease the strain on the existing distribution center that came from such a high volume of orders, in September 1997 Bezos announced that Amazon.com would be opening an East Coast distribution center in New Castle, Delaware. There was also a 70 percent expansion of the company's Seattle center. The improvements increased the company's stocking and shipping capabilities and reduced the time it took to fill customers' orders. The Delaware site not only got Amazon.com closer to East... [continues]
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