Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has told staff that Amazon is not “too big to fail” and that one day it will “go bankrupt”.

The job of Amazon’s staff is to “delay that day for as long as possible”, Bezos said in a recording of a meeting heard by US media organisation CNBC.

Bezos made his comments at a meeting in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, when he was asked what the lessons were from the collapses of famous retailers such as Sears.

Bezos cautioned that “Amazon is not too big to fail,” CNBC reported.

He said: “In fact, I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their lifespans tend to be 30-plus years, not 100-plus years.”

Bezos warned: “If we start to focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on our customers, that will be the beginning of the end. We have to try and delay that day for as long as possible.”

Amazon, which Bezos founded in 1994, rapidly grew to become a retail powerhouse as it pioneered online sales.

It has continued to innovate ever since, through initiatives such as the development of its Prime membership scheme, and pushed into bricks-and-mortar retailing with the acquisition of US grocer Whole Foods.

Earlier this year Amazon became only the second company to be valued at $1trn.