Apr 25, 2019

Amazon gets speedier with free 1-day shipping for Prime

Erica Pandey, author of @Work

An Amazon fulfillment center. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Amazon is beefing up its Prime membership offering, moving from free 2-day shipping to 1-day.

Why it matters: Retailers are already racing to come close to Amazon's shipping prices and speeds. This will squeeze competition even further.

Context: Amazon has over 100 million Prime members in just the U.S., and there are currently about 100 million products on its site that are eligible for free 2-day shipping.

Details: CFO Brian Olsavsky told analysts the company expects the offering to cost $800 million in the second quarter. He said he expects the move to make Prime even "stickier." Cutting delivery times in half "will open up a lot of potential purchases," Olsavsky said.

The big picture: Amazon reported $7.09 in earnings per share for the first quarter of 2019, plowing through analysts' expectations of $4.72.

  • The e-commerce behemoth saw $59.7 billion in sales this quarter — a 17% jump from Q1 2018.
  • Revenue for its cloud business, AWS, was $7.7 billion. Both revenue figures were in line with analysts expectations.

What's happening:

  • Amazon saw fatter profit margins this quarter, leading to stronger than expected earnings per share. The company reported a record $3.6 billion in net income — more than double last year's $1.6 billion.
  • AWS profits were $2.2 billion, up about 57% from $1.4 billion last year.
  • Amazon also shrunk its losses internationally and doubled operating profits in North America, per the earnings release.

Go deeper

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 6,703,686 — Total deaths: 393,393 — Total recoveries — 2,906,748Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,885,197 — Total deaths: 108,708 — Total recoveries: 485,002 — Total tested: 18,680,529Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. States: Cities are retooling public transit to lure riders back.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.