Amazon – Case Analysis Forum

Amazon – Case Analysis Forum

Case 1:

In 1994, recent Princeton graduate and Wall Street executive Jeff Bezos left his job, began working out of the garage of his rented home, and raised several million dollars of start-up capital to launch an online retail business. The following year, he opened a 400-square foot office in Bellevue, Washington, and launched, billed as “the world’s largest bookstore.” By 1996, Amazon had become one of the most successful web-based retailers, with revenues of almost $16 million.

In 1997, Bezos took Amazon public and annual sales rose to $147 million. In that same year, Amazon became the sole book retailer on America Online’s (AOL) public website and Netscape’s commercial channel. In 1998, Amazon launched its online music and video stores, began to sell toys and electronics, and expanded its European reach with the acquisition of online booksellers in the United Kingdom and Germany. The company grew at a phenomenal pace in the years that followed.

In 2000, Amazon launched a 10-year partnership with to co-brand a toy and video game store. In the following year, Amazon cut 15% of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan that also forced a $150 million charge. Amazon also partnered with now defunct Borders in 2001 to manage the rival’s web operation. AOL invested $100 million in Amazon in 2001, and in the fourth quarter of 2001, Amazon showed its first profit. Rapid growth has continued throughout the mid-2000s.

Amazon introduced the Kindle e-reader in 2007 and was selling more Kindle e-books than print books in 2011. The firm also expanded its online reach by engaging in a number of partnerships and by acquiring in 2009 and Quidsi and Woot in 2010. Amazon has grown exponentially, increasing revenues from about $11 billion in 2006 to more than $34 billion in 2010.

Today, Amazon offers a wide variety of products in addition to books, including free electronic greeting cards, online auctions, CDs, videos, DVDs, toys and games, electronics, kitchenware, and computers. The company competes with publishers, distributors, manufacturers and physical-world retailers.

Read the above case “Case 1:”

Answer the following questions and submit them to the Case Analysis Forum:

  • How would you define Amazon’s industry? What difficulties do you encounter in identifying primary competitors and key lines of business?
  • Given its Internet base can Amazon’s success be easily duplicated by copying its web materials? If so, why has Amazon been so dominant in recent years?
  • This case analysis requires you to analyze a business case situation, answer questions, and demonstrate knowledge based on information gained from the prior and current course material. Course material that you use may come from the readings, audio lectures, PDFs, and/or required videos. In addition, two credible external sources (outside of course material) are required to support your case analysis. Please see below.

Answering Case Questions:

  • Responses that are purely opinion and anecdotal are not considered to be substantive in nature.
  • Each question response should provide depth of analysis, significant insight, and application to at least one-course concept from prior or current course material.
  • MAKE IT EASY to find your different responses by using a heading for each question (e.g., Question 1, Question 2).
    DO NOT mix responses together.
  • Review the Case Analysis Grading Rubric. A Turnitin score of 20% or less is required. Submit to Turnitin Check the link first.

External Sources:

  • Two credible external sources to support information are required, one for each question response (e.g., Question 1 and 2 each has an external source)
  • Assigned textbook chapters from the course do not count as external sources.
  • Review the Case Analysis Grading Rubric. A Turnitin score of 20% or less is required. Submit to Turnitin Check the link first.

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