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Amazon Worldwide Operations & Customer Services

The Story of Amazon

A history of making history.

The story of Amazon begins with the customer, and just keeps on going. Since launching in Jeff Bezos’ garage in 1994, it’s our people who drive the mind-boggling action that leads to the delivery of millions of happily-ever-afters each day. How will you impact the story?


From a garage in Bellevue, Washington to a presence felt worldwide, explore two decades (and counting) of Amazon milestones in seconds by clicking through the timeline below.

  • 1994

    Amazon.com incorporated in July. Company headquarters?
    Jeff Bezos’ garage.

  • 1995

    Amazon sells its first book.

    By the end of July,
    orders have shipped
    to all 50 U.S. states
    and 45 countries
    around the world.

  • 1996

    Amazon Associates Program launched – the first online affiliate program of its kind.

  • 1997

    Instant gratification reaches new heights. Amazon's 1-Click (tm) Shopping is introduced.

  • 1998

    Amazon broadens its horizons, launching in the United Kingdom and Germany.

  • 1999

    In December, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is named Time Magazine's "Person of
    the Year."

  • 2000

    Launches amazon.fr in France, and amazon.co.jp in Japan.

  • 2001

    Look Inside the Book introduced. Customers can now flip through thousands of books virtually.

  • 2002

    Developers can now obtain direct access to Amazon's robust technology platform with
    Amazon Web Services.

  • 2003

    Free Super Saver Shipping now gives Amazon customers free shipping on qualifying orders year-round.

  • 2004

    Joyo.com - the largest retailer of books, music, and games in China - is acquired.

  • 2005

    Amazon's "all you can eat" free express shipping program, Amazon Prime, is introduced.

  • 2006

    Small businesses enhance their offerings with Fulfillment by Amazon and WebStore by Amazon.

  • 2007

    Amazon Kindle, the revolutionary wireless e-reader, is launched. Reading is never the same again.

  • 2008

    Amazon introduces Video on Demand, with movies and TV
    shows now available for rental or purchase online.

  • 2009

    Two great customer-centric brands unite, when Amazon acquires Zappos.com, a leader in online apparel and footwear sales.

  • 2010

    Amazon Mom program is introduced, providing exclusive discounts for parents.

  • 2011

    Kindle Fire, Amazon's multimedia tablet, is announced, and launches one day earlier than expected.

  • 2012

    Amazon acquires Kiva Systems, Inc. Robots are reportedly excited
    to join the Amazon team.

  • 2013

    President Obama tours a Fulfillment Center, meets associates, and praises Amazon as "a great example of what's possible."

  • 2014

    Amazon Studios becomes the first digital streaming service to win
    two Golden Globe awards, for
    the series Transparent.

  • 2015

    Amazon makes one-hour delivery a reality in over 25 cities across America, Europe, and Japan.
    No patience required.