Lower prices fuel growth at Amazon.com
Clothing offer is fastest growing sector
January 24 2003
Online retailer Amazon.com saw sales increase by 28 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2002, boosted by lower prices, free shipping offers and the launch of its new clothing offer.
Sales were $1.439bn in the fourth quarter, compared with $1.115 billion in the same period in 2001. Discounts were extended on core product ranges such as books and DVDs, and following the success of it free shipping on orders over $25 in the run-up to Christmas, Amazon is to extend the offer all year round. There are also free shipping options at its U.K., German, French, Japanese and Canadian sites.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and chief executive said: “On top of the five price cuts we’ve made over the past 18 months, we’re announcing today that we’ve decided to make Free Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25 a full-time, year-round offer. We’re at a tipping point. Customers are now shopping at Amazon.com as much for our lower prices as for our selection and convenience.”
Amazon’s worldwide growth was 34 per cent in 2002. Its apparel and accessories product offer, which brings together more than 450 brands, is the company’s fastest-growing sector in terms of units sold since it opened in November.
International sales, which includes Amazon’s UK, German, French and Japanese sites, grew by 76 per cent to $461m in the fourth quarter and exceeded $1bn for the first time across the year, with sales of $1.169bn.
Tom Szkutak, chief financial officer, said: “Our continued operational progress and momentum allow us to offer year-round free shipping and at the same time increase our 2003 guidance. Our 2003 objective is to continue improving productivity and lowering prices for customers.”
Amazon expects net sales growth of more than 15 per cent during 2003.
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