Amazon has hired former head of Cdiscount.co.uk Andy Jones as had of its home entertainment arm in the UK as the etail giant’s sales and profits soar.
Amazon UK managing director Brian McBride said its traditional sectors, including entertainment, and newer offers such as fashion had all shown strong growth last year.
He said the breadth of Amazon’s entertainment offer continued to “give it the edge” over its bricks-and-mortar competitors. “We still have box sets from last year and we are still listing 50,000 VHS movies, which is great because no one else is doing it. It is good to be the last man standing,” said McBride. International sales for Amazon, including the UK, soared 49% in its last quarter. Globally, the US etailer expects sales growth for 2010 to be between 32% and 42%.
Amazon has benefited from being a trusted brand, said McBride.
“People want to buy trusted brands but also want to trust the business they are buying from and we have that trust,” he said. He added that he expects Amazon to continue to perform well despite the recession.
He denied reports that the etailer would consider physical stores, adding that shops would not fit its business model. He said: “The internet and the way we implemented our model gives the best value and most convenience. In five years we won’t want that to be any different.”
He added that mobile internet will be the next big thing in online shopping and that Amazon is trying to make its site and checkout process easier for those buying from a mobile phone.
Total group sales at Amazon soared 28% to $24.51bn (£15.37bn) in 2009, with operating profit up 34% to $1.13bn (£708.8m).
Cdiscount in the UK went into administration at the end of last year.