Amazon lays off 1,300 following latest loss

By : |January 31, 2001 0

As Amazon.com raked up another $90 million in losses during the fourth
quarter, the giant online retailer finally started to show some cracks in the
massive walls the company has built to shield itself from the realities of the
marketplace. Amazon.com said it was laying of 1,300 people and closing down one
of its distribution centers in Georgia.

The quarterly loss was substantially smaller than the $198 million the
company lost in the last three months of 1999. Sales continued to rise and grew
44 per cent to $972 million. In another sign that realities are starting to gnaw
their way through to upper management, Amazon.com chief financial officer Warren
Jensen said his company will try to turn profitable this year. ”We have some
clear objectives relating to profitability in the fourth quarter. These lay-offs
were some of the things that needed to be done to achieve profitability and for
the long-term health of Amazon.com."

Industry analysts said they expect Amazon.com to make additional moves in the
coming months to achieve profitability late this year. Those could include
dropping one or more product lines that are not living up to earlier
expectations. Last year, the company added a broad range of goods, including
lawn chairs.

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