Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is an American-based multinational electronic commerce company. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, it is America's largest online retailer, with nearly three times the Internet sales revenue of the runner up, Staples, Inc.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com, Inc. in 1994 and launched it online in 1995. It started as an on-line bookstore but soon diversified to product lines of VHS, DVD, music CDs and MP3s, computer software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, etc. Amazon has established separate websites in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, and China. It also provides international shipping to certain countries for some of its products.
On January 15, 2009, a survey published by Verdict Research found that Amazon was the UK's favorite music and video retailer, and came third in overall retail rankings.
Amazon's initial business plan was unusual: the company did not expect a profit for four to five years; the strategy was effective. Amazon grew steadily in the late 1990s while other Internet companies grew blindingly fast. Amazon's "slow" growth provoked stockholder complaints: that the company was not reaching profitability fast enough. When the dot-com bubble burst, and many e-companies went out of business, Amazon persevered, and, finally, turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million, just 1¢ per share, on revenues of more than $1 billion, but the profit was symbolically important.