Amazon’s retail presence has continued to grow with a diverse mix of outlets. The company now operates 17 brick-and-mortar bookstores, Amazon Fresh grocery pickup locations, pop-up stores it locates in shopping malls, and four Amazon Go grab-and-leave bodegas. In 2017, Amazon acquired the Whole Foods supermarket chain, which currently operates 470 locations.
Amazon Webstore allowed businesses to create custom e-commerce online stores using Amazon technology. Sellers selected the category for their business, and paid a commission of 1-2%, plus credit-card processing fees and fraud protection, and a subscription fee depending on the bundle option for an unlimited number of listings. Amazon has chosen a limited number of companies to become an implementation solution provider for them. The Amazon Webstore is no longer available to new merchants.
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In April, Amazon said more than 100 million people around the world pay for its Prime subscription, which in May went up to $119 from $99 a year in the U.S. The NPR/Marist poll found that among Americans, roughly 75 million online shoppers pay for Prime — plus another 35 million use someone else's account. Put together, almost two-thirds of American online shoppers are living inside the Amazon retail universe.
In a similar vein, Amazon recently started promoting its private-label brands on the pages of competing brands. The complaint some brands made here is that Amazon is getting that advertising space ‘for free.’ But ad space on a highly trafficked site like Amazon is never free. By allocating that space to promote one of its own products, Amazon is by default forfeiting ad dollars from advertisers. Given Amazon’s booming advertising business and how profitable this new division is, Amazon would not be giving up valuable ad space lightly.
Amazon Prime lets you add premium video subscriptions -- Starz, Showtime and so on -- to your Prime Video viewing umbrella. (Alas, you don't get any discounts compared with purchasing those subscriptions separately.) As part of Amazon Family, you can score 20 percent off diaper purchases via Subscribe & Save and 15 percent off eligible products in your baby registry. And speaking of family, you're allowed to extend your membership to one additional adult living in your house.
It’s not difficult to imagine a different cut of Anna Rose Holmer’s The Fits that hews closer to the arc of a traditional sports story. Hers has the makings of a familiar one, of a misfit who wants more than anything to compete—but unlike most stories of inspirational audacity, The Fits is as much about discomfort as the catharsis that comes with achievement. In it, Toni (Royalty Hightower) is an 11-year-old who has more experience with stereotypically male pursuits like lifting weights and punching speed bags than the usual interests of a pre-teen girl. She spends nearly all of her time at the Lincoln Recreation Center alongside her boxer brother, Jermaine (Da’Sean Minor), pushing her body to the limit. While she shows a remarkable aptitude for the ascetical devotion required for boxing, she still dreams about competing on the dance team, “The Lincoln Lionesses.” Framed with a rigid sense of space by cinematographer Paul Yee, and backed by the groaning score from veteran composers Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, The Fits is infused with such dread that one can’t help but imagine that characters’ muscles and bones could break or shatter at any moment. The film’s most explicit example of which may be Toni pulling off a temporary tattoo, but The Fits is firmly a story of metaphysical body horror, an allegory about our greatest fears of physical fragility shot brilliantly through a feminist lens. With that, the film manages to reinvent the sports story as something both brainy and physically pure. —Michael Snydel
On July 15, 2015, to commemorate its 20th birthday, Amazon celebrated "Amazon Prime Day", which Amazon announced would feature deals for prime members that rivaled those on Black Friday. Also that month Amazon Prime announced that it would be signing Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, formerly of BBC's Top Gear, to begin working on The Grand Tour, due to be released in 2016. On July 13, 2016, Amazon Prime said customers placed 60 percent more orders worldwide on "Prime Day".