Estimates on Prime memberships have been the subject of much speculation, especially since the numbers also serve as a metric for Amazon’s whopping revenue stream. The math can be difficult to parse: It’s not quite as simple as multiplying the cost of a $119 annual membership by 100 million. Some members — students, for example — have options to pay less, while others pay more for a monthly subscription.
These findings are contrary to some commentators’ perceptions that the Amazon website does not provide a quality experience when it comes to shopping for fashion because the site was designed to sell specification purchases (such as books and electronics). Responses to our survey suggest that Amazon’s website does indeed deliver the experience apparel shoppers seek.
One key finding of our research is that Prime membership is the principal support for Amazon’s apparel expansion, as Prime members show a much higher tendency than the average consumer to buy apparel on the site. As we show below, Prime membership has trended strongly upward in the recent past. The inference must be that further growth in Prime membership will, in the near term at least, be the foundation on which Amazon will build greater share in the apparel category.
This is why any kung fu fan will always love Gordon Liu. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is as classic as it gets: the definitive Shaolin movie, without a doubt, and the source of Liu’s nickname, “Master Killer.” He plays San Te, a young student wounded when his school is culled by the Manchu government, so he flees to the refuge of the Shaolin temple. After toiling as a laborer, he finally earns the right to learn kung fu, which begins the film’s famous training sequences. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin is the rare film where those training sequences actually outshine its traditional fights, because they’re just so beautiful, fluid and inventive. In each of the 36 chambers, San Te must toil to discipline his body, mind, reflexes and will. They make up the whole center of the film, and are unforgettable, bearing an iconic gravitas, imbuing kung fu with a great dignity. Because true kung fu can only be attained through the greatest of sacrifice. —Jim Vorel
That’s according to new research by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners suggesting that in the past year, Prime memberships grew 8 percent — the lowest annual rate since the group began tracking the data in 2012. The group also put the number of U.S. Prime members — a statistic that Amazon has famously kept under wraps — at 97 million, with Prime shoppers spending an average of about $1,400 per year, compared with $600 per year for nonmember shoppers.
Bloomberg reported yesterday that Amazon is using its own ‘Vine’ reviewer program to dramatically increase the number of product reviews for some private-label products. Bloomberg’s analysis found that the Amazon Basics motor oil product has almost as many product reviews three months after launch as a close competitor, a Valvoline motor oil product. Eighty percent of Amazon’s product reviews are from the “Vine Reviewer” program, an Amazon program where brands pay for selected users to review their products, compared with zero Vine reviews for the competing Valvoline product.
At this point, some might think it’s too late to buy Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) stock since its run of absolutely insane growth is over. But Amazon’s days of impressive expansion don’t look like they are done just yet. And now might be a good time to think about buying AMZN stock before Amazon reports its Q3 financial results on Thursday, October 25.
For more than two decades, shoppers perusing the aisles of Walmart have run into cans of Sam’s cola or coffee alongside national brands on the shelves. In Costco, shoppers can pickup store-brand Kirkland paper towels and bacon. (Store brands are typically priced well below their big-brand peers because they do not spend money on expensive national marketing campaigns like Procter & Gamble or Kimberly-Clark.)
"Many of us have filtered water pitchers in our fridges, but if you're anything like me, yours is probably still a holdover from your college days. There's nothing wrong with that, but I upgraded to a larger, more efficient model and haven't looked back. Not only am I refilling this container less often, it's encouraging me to drink more water since there's always some left." — Brandt Ranj
Still, there are companies competing — and winning — against Amazon. These 7 stocks aren’t necessarily fully Amazon-proof stocks just yet, as the battles rage on. But they should be considered by those investors looking for the best stocks to buy outside of AMZN — and by investors looking for companies who can lead any market, no matter the competition.
Kurt Kuenne was childhood friends with a man named Andrew Bagby, who, in late 2001, was murdered by ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner. Relieved he’d finally put an end to a turbulent relationship, he had no idea Turner was pregnant. So she killed him, then fled to Newfoundland, where she gave birth to Bagby’s son, Zachary. This is how Dear Zachary begins: a visual testament to both Andrew Bagby’s life, as well as the enduring hearts of his parents, who, as Kuenne chronicles, moved to Newfoundland after their son’s murder to begin proceedings to gain custody of Zachary. Kuenne only meant the film to be a gift, a love letter to his friend postmarked to Zachary, to allow the baby to one day get to know his father via the many, many people who loved him most. Told in interviews, photos, phone calls, seemingly every piece of detritus from one man’s life, Kuenne’s eulogy is an achingly sad portrait of someone who, in only 28 years, deeply affected the lives of so many people around him. And then Dear Zachary transforms into something profoundly else. It begins to take on the visual language and tone of an infuriating true-crime account, painstakingly detailing the process by which Bagby’s parents gained custody and then—just as they were beginning to find some semblance of consolation—faced their worst nightmares. The film at times becomes exquisitely painful, but Kuenne has a natural gift for tension and pacing that neither exploits the material nor drags the audience through melodramatic mud. In retrospect, Dear Zachary’s expositional approach may seem a bit cloying, but that’s only because Kuenne is willing to tell a story with all the disconsolate surprise of the tragedy itself. You’re gonna bawl your guts out. —Dom Sinacola