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(, Seattle, WA, The largest online shopping site in the U.S. Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, within four years, Amazon had more than four million customers. Today, more than 100 million visitors access the site each month. Amazon's well-designed website made it easy to order merchandise (see one-click ordering).

From a Bookstore to Nearly Everything
Amazon started out as an online bookstore, constantly making news with its product volume. In the late 1990s, after adding CDs, videos, DVDs and games, Amazon offered more than four million titles. It continued to add new lines of business including toys, consumer electronics, software, power tools, home improvement products, online auctions and cloud computing services, the latter a significant profit center for the company (see Amazon Web Services).

In 2000, Amazon opened its e-commerce platform to non-Amazon vendors. Similar to Apple opening up its iPhone platform to third-party developers, Amazon acquired millions of sellers. Today, nearly every legal product that can be shipped is available on Amazon's site (see Fulfillment by Amazon).

Amazon Prime Membership
In 2005, Amazon Prime was introduced as an annual subscription. Prime offers free one-day and two-day shipping on most products Amazon stocks in its warehouses. Prime membership increasingly offers other benefits, including unlimited video and music streaming, photo storage and e-book lending (Prime Video, Amazon Music, Amazon Photos and Kindle eBooks). See AmazonFresh and Amazon Go.

Amazon's Own Products
In the late 2000s, the company began to offer Amazon-branded items, including e-book readers, tablets, smartphones, cables and other devices (see Kindle, Kindle Fire, Fire Phone, Amazon Echo and Amazon Dash).
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References in periodicals archive ?
If you look at the latest headlines: Walmart and Google have suspended their partnership for sameday delivery, Amazon grocery sales appear to have stalled, and scores of other companies in the space are struggling.
In the new Amazon grocery store everything is operated robotically.
In 2016, there were around 3.5 million cashiers, and Forbes finds that if Amazon grocery store technology took over, there would be a potential loss of 37 billion dollars nationwide.
Whole Foods will become the biggest customer of the division Thompson refers to as Amazon Grocery Services, justifying the expense of building out a business that can also deliver to restaurants and individual homes--and take a cut of all that economic activity.
One report late last month said internal company documents foresee up to 2,000 Amazon grocery stores following a 20-unit test in major markets.
* * Amazon grocery purchases are growing at 25 percent.
The US firm has been selling food and drink for four years through its Amazon Grocery Store.
Shoppers who visit Amazon Grocery Store will be able to find items like Pampers, Ariel, Uncle Ben's, Dolmio, Kraft, Schwartz, Kenco, Carte Noir, Walkers and Oreo as well as Bakers and Purina One pet foods.