An Amazon.com snapshot – excerpt:
Indeed, Amazon has been gobbling e-commerce market share since 2006, taking away customers from eBay in particular. But its advances are shaking up the entire retail world. Giants like Wal-Mart are warily replicating elements of its strategy, while small independent retailers in sporting goods and jewelry now worry their fate will be similar to that of small bookstores and independent video rental shops (remember those?).
Amazon’s expansion strategy has allowed it, almost alone among retailers, to thrive during the recession, even while its own media business has stagnated. Over the last year, shoppers have bought fewer books, CDs and DVDs, in many cases opting for cheaper digital downloads. In the quarter ending in June, for example, Amazon’s worldwide media sales grew only 1 percent, to $2.4 billion, highlighted by a slowdown in video games.
But during the same quarter, sales of other products, which the company lumps together on its balance sheet in a grouping dubbed “electronics and general merchandise,” grew by 35 percent, to $2.07 billion.