Amazon Stores, a program that lets Amazon sellers curate pages for their brands and products, has helped more than 50,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) do more than $500,000 in sales across the globe in 2018, the company announced on Friday (Jan. 18).
SMBs that passed $1 million in sales grew by 20 percent last year as well, and almost 200,000 stores passed $100,000 in sales. The sellers come from every state in the U.S. and more than 130 countries.
“This year, growth of small and medium-sized businesses in our stores enabled business owners to create new products, provide greater selection to customers and reinvest in their local communities through job creation,” said Nick Denissen, vice president for Amazon. “Since we opened our shelves to third-party sellers in 2001, small and medium-sized businesses have been an integral part of Amazon’s DNA. Our guiding star is an obsession with customers, and the service we’ve built is more powerful because we have small and medium-sized businesses complementing and competing with our retail business.”
During the 2018 holiday season, SMB sales outperformed Amazon’s retail sales, and third-party sales are growing faster than first-party ones.
“Selling on Amazon has been huge for Yedi Houseware,” said Bobby Djavaheri, director of sales and development for Yedi Houseware. “Since we began listing products on Amazon 12 years ago, our business has skyrocketed, and we now have 12 full-time employees and plan to hire more this year. Amazon allows us to reach new customers across the U.S. and even worldwide, which enabled our business to grow 126 percent just last year.”
In other retail news, Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market announced that it was giving up on its plan to expand its 365 stores. CEO John Mackey told employees that the company has decided not to open any more Whole Foods 365 stores, according to an internal email obtained by Yahoo! Finance. The existing 12 stores, which boast smaller formats and cheaper prices, will remain in business.
“As we have been consistently lowering prices in our core Whole Foods Market stores over the past year, the price distinction between the two brands has become less relevant,” Mackey wrote. “As the company continues to focus on lowering prices over time, we believe that the price gap will further diminish.”