Amazon: Financial crisis. What financial crisis?
Despite reporting lower profits, Amazon continues to fly in the face of the purse strings that seem to be tightening for many companies, as its relentless pace of growth continues unabated. The announcement that it is to add yet another customer support base to its other outlets and based in Scotland, is testament to this.
At a time when the UK economy seems to be stagnating, the news is more than welcome that they are to employ 900 staff at the new support centre in Edinburgh and distribution centre in Dunfermline. The support centre is scheduled to open in August, some two months before it opens the mind-boggling one–million-sqr foot distribution centre in Dunfermline. The service outlet is going to provide customer support for kindles and MP3’s.
Amazon seems to be firing on all fronts, with the recent addition of its German kindle catalogue on Amazon. com de and its continuing to push the boundaries that Amazon seem hell-bent on giving it the lion’s share of the Global eBook market into the future.
Another example of its relentless push for growth is the announcement that it is to open its doors as a publisher. I suspect there are other considerations than growth in arriving at this decision, after some publishers catalogues were pulled in an argument of pricing in early 2010 and thereby firing a warning shot across Amazons bow. Its reliance of traditional publishers, I would imagine, tightened a few butts, until Amazon caved in. The only comforting part of that fiasco is that it gives Amazon a reason to continue to support indie authors.
However, I digress; what of profits? Well, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. This past year has been one of high investment for Amazon, with much of the investment written off against profits. The facts are that their sales continue to rise both in America and in the Global market. The investment in infrastructure, products and software will position them to come through the Global crisis even stronger as consumers begin to restore their spending power.
To give an indication of the figures, sales came in at a healthy $9.86 billion, up from $.7.13 billion the year before. This figure represented a 45% increase in North American sales and a rise of 31% on international sales.
What does this mean to us as authors? Well it rather makes the sales of my eBooks pale into insignificance. But nonetheless, the more Amazon grow locally and internationally, then hopefully, the more our sales will grow.