On July 5, 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon Opens a New Window. — a company that would one day transform the retail industry.
The Wall Street Journal Opens a New Window. described Bezos in 1996 as a “whiz-kid programmer” who quit his job to start the online book store. Later the company branched out to sell just about everything.
Amazon is now one of the world’s most valuable companies and Bezos is the world’s richest man, according to Forbes. Amazon has made it more convenient for people to buy just about everything on the site with features like “one-click ordering” and free same-day and one-day shipping for Prime members. The Consumer Intelligence Research Partners Opens a New Window. found more than 100 million people in the U.S. have subscribed to Amazon Prime.
Despite making shopping more convenient, e-commerce outlets like Amazon have made it harder for traditional retailers to attract customers to their brick-and-mortar stores and forced companies to change sales strategies. Many companies have turned to sales promotions and increased digital efforts to lure shoppers while shutting down physical locations.
The online retail giant has also come under criticism from several political leaders, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren Opens a New Window. , D-Mass., who is running for the Democratic presidential ticket. She recently announced a plan to “break up big tech Opens a New Window. ” or other large tech companies such as Amazon.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez Opens a New Window. , D-N.Y., said in a recent interview with ABC News that the e-commerce company paid its workers “starvation wages” and limited their access to healthcare. Amazon responded to her claim that she was “just wrong.”
Amazon is a leader on pay at $15 min wage + full benefits from day one. We also lobby to raise federal min wage,” the company tweeted.
On a recent episode of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Opens a New Window. the host of the HBO program focused on Amazon warehouse conditions. Dave Clark, the senior vice president of operations at Amazon, responded to the segment and said the show was “wrong on Amazon.”
“Industry-leading $15 minimum wage and comprehensive benefits are just one of many programs we offer,” Clark wrote.
The company appears to have no signs of stopping anytime soon. The highly-anticipated Amazon Prime Day — which is slated for Monday, July 15 — promises to have thousands of sales. The day is only for Prime members, which costs $119 for an annual membership or $12.99 for a monthly plan.