It seems that wherever Amazon goes, sales tax issues will follow. After pulling out of planned distribution centers in both South Carolina and Texas, the online retailer may now be leaving a planned facility behind in Tennessee. The company is usually unlikely to issue press statements on such issues, but this time Amazon is coming out swinging.
In a time long ago, Amazon was a book seller. They've continued to sell paper books while becoming the leader in ebooks, but they also sell a multitude of other products. In the past, most of Amazon's business was selling media like books, music, and movies. Now those "other" products make up the majority of the online retailer's sales. The news came in Amazon's earnings call today when it was also announced that they smashed projections by rocking a 46% revenue increase over last year.
Overall, Amazon took in $3.43 billion in sales from media, and $3.51 billion from everything else. Many analysts have expected this so-called "inversion point" to occur eventually. Amazon benefits from this in that they have a solid buffer in the face of the changing media landscape. It's no secret that Amazon liked having the eBook business all to themselves, but they'll never have that kind of comfortable perch again.
Certainly people are buying all sorts of things from Amazon. What are getting there? Still just books and DVDs? Or have you started buying your electronics from Amazon as well?
Never underestimate the dollar power of shoes and handbags. Amazon, in a move to expand diversity in its product line, last July moved to acquire Zappos, a purveyor of shoes, bags and clothing. Now that the deal is finally closing, and Zappos’s stock has risen on the news of the buyout, Amazon has agreed to make the purchase for $1.2 billion, up from the initial stock price-based estimate of $928 million.
Zappos remains intact after the deal--a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, with headquarters in Las Vegas. No changes in Zappos’s management team are expected.