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Tuesday, 22 May, 2001, 17:46 GMT 18:46 UK
Amazon UK expands into electronics
section of Amazon's website
Amazon has highlighted digital cameras and MP3 players as key growth areas
Amazon.co.uk, best-known for its core sales of books, music and videos, has branched out into consumer electronics.

The online retailer is now offering a range of products for sale on its website, from digital cameras and handheld computers to DVD and MP3 players.

The firm's US site already offers such products.

"Consumer electronics is a huge online growth category in the UK and we already have over 3 million customers," said Steve Frazier, managing director of Amazon.co.uk.

"It's easy and natural for us to expand into a growth category that people love."

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk's parent, Amazon.com, already offers electronics products for sale and is the stores fastest growing business ever.

As with other online retailers, Amazon has been hit hard by the slowdown in the US economy, with many - like eToys - going under after filing huge losses.

But last month, Amazon.com reported a much smaller first-quarter loss and said it would turn in its first quarterly operating profit by the end of the year.

Consumer electronics was highlighted as a key growth area.

The results helped pour water on concerns raised earlier this year that the online shop was close to collapse, sending its shares plunging.

In midday trade Tuesday, Amazon shares were at $16.05 on Nasdaq, from highs of more than $100 in late 1999.

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See also:

24 Apr 01 | Business
Amazon reports smaller loss
01 May 01 | Business
Amazon loses top spot
11 Apr 01 | Business
Amazon joins forces with Borders
01 Mar 01 | Business
When will Amazon make a profit?
07 Mar 01 | Business
eToys shuts up shop
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