Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 after making a cross-country drive from New York to Seattle, writing up the Amazon business plan on the way. He initially set up the company in his garage.
In July 1995, the company began service and sold its first book on Amazon.com: Douglas Hofstadter’s Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. In October 1995, the company announced itself to the public. In 1996, it was reincorporated in Delaware. Amazon issued its initial public offering of stock on May 15, 1997, trading under the NASDAQ stock exchange symbol AMZN, at a price of US$18.00 per share.
Bezos selected the name Amazon by looking through the dictionary; he settled on “Amazon” because it was a place that was “exotic and different”, just as he had envisioned for his Internet enterprise.
Amazon.com, Inc.is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company. The tech giant is the largest Internet-based retailer in the world by total sales and market capitalization. Amazon also sells certain low-end products like USB cables under its in-house brand AmazonBasics.
The company has separate retail websites for the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. Amazon also offers international shipping to certain other countries for some of its products.
Amazon’s initial business plan was unusual; it did not expect to make a profit for four to five years. This “slow” growth caused stockholders to complain that the company was not reaching profitability fast enough to justify their investment or even survive in the long-term. When the dot-com bubble burst at the start of the 21st century and destroyed many e-companies in the process, Amazon survived and grew on past the tech crash to become a huge player in online sales. The company finally turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million, on revenues of more than $1 billion. This profit margin, though extremely modest, proved to skeptics that Bezos’ unconventional business model could succeed.
In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization.Amazon is the fourth most valuable public company in the world, the largest Internet company by revenue in the world and the eighth largest employer in the United States. In 2017, Amazon announced their plans to acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion by the end of the year, which would vastly increase Amazon’s presence as a physical retailer. The acquisition was interpreted as a direct attempt to challenge Walmart as a physical store.