|Amazon.com Announces Investment in WineShopper.com|
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 18, 2000--Leading online retailer Amazon.com (Nasdaq:AMZN) (www.amazon.com) today announced its investment in WineShopper.com, the San Francisco- and Napa-based Internet start up that will ultimately offer consumers access to the largest selection of wines available anywhere. Amazon.com invested $30 million in 1999.
WineShopper.com's site (www.wineshopper.com) launched today and is currently serving customers in California only. The company plans to roll out on a state-by-state basis, with the goal of serving between 70 and 80 percent of the U.S. market by the 2000 holiday season.
"Amazon.com strives to be the e-commerce destination where consumers can find and discover anything they want to buy online," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. "One of the ways we can achieve this is by joining with companies like WineShopper.com, who are determined to provide the best possible customer experience."
"Today marks a major milestone for our company and we are proud to be partnering with Amazon.com, the world's leading online retailer, as we leverage the Internet's power to bring customers an exceptional wine buying experience," said Peter Sisson, WineShopper.com founder and CEO. "The Internet represents a tremendous opportunity to effectively serve the $100 billion global wine market -- it allows us to turn a buying experience that is information-deficient and intimidating in the physical world into a very information rich, satisfying shopping experience."
WineShopper.com has exclusive content partnerships with Wine Spectator, WineToday.com, The New York Times on the Web, and Boston.com (all part of Times Company Digital), Wine & Spirits, Food & Wine, and Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine. Site visitors will be able to access reviews, ratings and editorial material from these and other leading content partners.
R. Michael Mondavi, president and CEO of Robert Mondavi (MOND) and one of the industry's most respected leaders, sits on the company's Board of Directors.
More than 550 wineries, importers and suppliers, and 250 wholesalers in 45 states representing about 85 percent of the U.S. population, have agreed to participate in the WineShopper system. The WineShopper.com model has received documented acknowledgement from regulatory authorities in the majority of states, and will not open for business in a state until after this process has taken place.
Amazon.com (Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries) is the Internet's No. 1 music, No. 1 DVD and video, and No. 1 book retailer. Amazon.com (Nasdaq:AMZN) opened its virtual doors on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection, along with online auctions and free electronic greeting cards. Amazon.com lists more than 18 million unique items in categories including books, CDs, toys, electronics, videos, DVDs, home improvement products, software, and video games. Through Amazon.com zShops, any business or individual can sell virtually anything to Amazon.com's more than 17 million customers, and with Amazon.com Payments, any seller can accept credit card transactions, avoiding the hassles of offline payments. The company also participates in sothebys.amazon.com, the leading auction site for guaranteed art, jewelry, and collectibles, at www.sothebys.amazon.com.
Amazon.com seeks to be the world's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they may want to buy online. Amazon.com's All Product Search scours the Web to help customers find merchandise that is not available at Amazon.com, Amazon.com Auctions, or Amazon.com zShops, making Amazon.com the shopping destination to find anything. Amazon.com Anywhere is the leader in mobile e-commerce, providing access from anywhere in the world to Amazon.com through handheld wireless Internet devices using the Wireless Application Protocol, at www.amazon.com/phone/ and on personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Amazon.com operates two international Web sites: www.amazon.co.uk and www.amazon.de. It also operates the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com), the Web's comprehensive and authoritative source of information on more than 220,000 movies and entertainment programs and 500,000 cast and crew members dating from the birth of film in 1892 to 2003.
Amazon.com has invested in leading Internet retailers that are improving the lives of customers by making shopping easier and more convenient: Greenlight.com, the only company that offers car buyers the control of auto purchasing online with ongoing service and support from local dealerships, at www.greenlight.com; living.com, the leading online home products and services retailer, at www.living.com; drugstore.com, an online retail and information source for health, beauty, wellness, personal care and pharmacy, at www.drugstore.com; Pets.com, the online leader for pet products, expert information, and services, at www.pets.com; HomeGrocer.com, the first fully integrated Internet grocery-shopping and home-delivery service--with operations in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and Southern California--at www.homegrocer.com; Gear.com, which offers brand-name sporting goods at prices from 20 to 90 percent off retail, at www.gear.com; and Ashford.com, the leading Internet retailer of luxury and premium products and the Web's No. 1 retailer of watches and jewelry, at www.ashford.com; Audible, Inc., the leader in Internet-delivered spoken audio for PC-based listening or playback on AudibleReady(TM) portable digital audio devices, at www.audible.com; and eZiba.com, a leading online retailer of handcrafted products from around the world, at www.eziba.com.
Amazon.com also has a minority interest in Della.com, which brings together leading retailers with gift registry, expert advice, and personalized gift suggestions to help everyone give better gifts, at www.della.com; NextCard, Inc., considered the industry's leading issuer of consumer credit on the Internet, at www.nextcard.com; and Kozmo.com, the world's leading "e-mmediate" Internet-to-door delivery service, at www.kozmo.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, Amazon.com's limited operating history, anticipated losses, significant amount of indebtedness, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risk of distribution center expansion, risks related to fourth quarter performance, risks of system interruption, management of potential growth, inventory risks, risks related to auction and zShops services, risks related to fraud and Amazon.com Payments, and risks of new business areas, international expansion, business combinations, and strategic alliances. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999.
Kristin Schaefer, 206/266-7180 or WineShopper.com Suzanne Gannon, 415/348-4225