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Thanks to Amazon, the future has arrived

(Credit: Cushman & Wakefield)

Amazon has now posted four consecutive record quarterly profits, attracting more than 200 million Prime loyalty subscribers. With brick-and-mortar stores struggling, the company’s dominant grip over e-commerce is only strengthening.

Staggering retail numbers: Revenue from merchants listing items on its website and using its warehouses was up 64%, to $23.7 billion. In addition to paying Amazon $119 a year, households with Prime typically spend $3,000 a year on the website, more than twice what households without membership, NYTimes noted.

Why it matters: The high volume of orders during the pandemic has let Amazon operate more efficiently. It has run its warehouses closer to full capacity, and delivery drivers have made more stops on their routes, with less time driving between customers. The number of items Amazon sold grew 44%, but the cost to fulfill those orders was up only 31%.

Worth Noting: Amazon’s first quarter is typically slower than its preceding end-of-year results, which are aided by holiday shopping sales. Yet the company has exceeded expectations in recent quarters. It shattered sales records last year as homebound Americans turned to its delivery services, WSJ noted. The company’s stock price rose 76% in 2020.

This sums it up: Physical stores revenue, which includes Whole Foods Market and other brick-and-mortar offerings such as Amazon Books, continued to fall. Sales slumped 16% to $3.9 billion. The category excludes online delivery. [NYTimes+WSJ]

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