Jeff Bezos releases his annual letter to shareholders

We went ahead and summarized some of the highlights in this year’s shareholder letter:
  • Bezos took the shareholder letter as an opportunity to remind legislators that while Amazon is the largest player in the growing ecommerce space, Amazon is still a small fraction of global retail sales: “Amazon today remains a small player in global retail. We represent a low single-digit percentage of the retail market, and there are much larger retailers in every country where we operate. And that’s largely because nearly 90% of retail remains offline, in brick and mortar stores.”
  • The second, he discussed the growth on the 3P Seller side of the Amazon Marketplace, citing the differences between Amazon and its principle marketplace competitor, eBay and the percentage of physical gross merchandise sold on Amazon by 3rd party sellers, which has grown steadily from 3% in 1999 to 58% in 2018, a stat to which Bezos quipped, “Third-party sellers are kicking our first party butt. Badly.” \Both points appear to be nods at some of the Anti-trust discussions taking place in Washington following the fallout over HQ2 in New York.
Expect failure(s): For a company the size of Amazon, one that reported $142B in product sales in 2018, moving the needle becomes a more difficult, and expensive task:
  • “If the size of your failures isn’t growing, you’re not going to be inventing at a size that can actually move the needle,” he wrote. “Amazon will be experimenting at the right scale for a company of our size if we occasionally have multibillion-dollar failures.”