One Kings Lane raises money (almost a billion dollar valuation), Gilt offers logistics to a competitor, PayPal pitching Apple on Payments, Walmart trying to gain ground from Amazon, Amazon posts results, JD.com to IPO, leaked Twitter commerce screenshots and much more.
Phew – what a week of ecommerce news with lots of permutations for the rest of the year. The big story was clearly Amazon’s Q4 report and it was a bumper festive season for the US’s biggest ecommerce business. “Net sales increased 20% to $25.59 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $21.27 billion in fourth quarter 2012. Excluding the $258 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales grew 22% compared with fourth quarter 2012.” The problem is that the company only made $238 million in profit or 51 cents per share on revenue of $25.59 billion. Amazon continues to make razor thin profits. Interestingly, the company mentioned that they will be increasing the price of Amazon Prime by either $20 – $40 per year for users. The increase in Prime pricing will not be a difficult value proposition for users in the US.
JD.com has filed for an IPO in the US and aims to raise $1.5 billion from the IPO. The irony in this is quite priceless as JD.com (360buy.com) has been playing second fiddle to Alibaba in China yet will be IPO’ing before the commerce behemoth. It will be interesting to see the appetite for shares from JD.com.