4 Takeaways From Jeff Bezos’ Annual Amazon Shareholder Letter

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The annual letter that Amazon's Jeff Bezos sends to his shareholders is always of interest to the retail and supply industry in general, and this year is no exception, as this roundup from Fortune magazine.

Fortune: April 11, 2019

Jeff Bezos had a lot on his mind when he sat down to pen his annual letter to Amazon shareholders this year.

The founder and CEO of the retail giant addressed a number of issues amid the usual chest beating these sorts of letters often contain. And he sent some warnings, both subtle and direct, to investors, letting them know that some bumps could lie ahead.

Here’s a look at four of the principle themes Bezos covered in this year’s note.

Antitrust scrutiny is a looming threat

Bezos never mentioned antitrust or antitrust regulators in the letter, but as government officials take increased note of the power and amount of data being held by large tech companies (and presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has indicated she wants to break up Amazon and other companies) he definitely started building a defense.

“Third-party sellers are kicking our first party butt. Badly.” he wrote, pointing to the rise in physical gross merchandise sales on Amazon, which now stands at 58%. This led to a discussion about how Amazon had invested in selling tools and the Fulfillment by Amazon and Prime membership programs. So it might have been easy to shrug that one off.

A bit later, though, Bezos stressed “Amazon today remains a small player in global retail”—an odd claim for a company that reported nearly $142 billion in product sales last year.

“Multibillion-dollar failures” are coming to Amazon

Amazon experiments with new products all the time. It bought Whole Foods. It’s experimenting with brick and mortar stores. It’s also working on a healthcare venture with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway and has signaled an interest in home robots.

Some of these experiments, Bezos warned, are going to be colossal failures. Read More

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