Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has long been a fulfillment story rather than a retail one, but it's the consumer-facing side of its business that gets the bulk of attention. Not so much lately, as the spotlight turns to expanded delivery and automated fulfillment, now with robots.
The world's largest online retailer made a big splash last fall when CBS News aired what amounted to an Amazon infomercial on "60 Minutes" detailing tests of deliveries by drone. This pie in the sky piece, broadcast the evening before Cyber Monday, presented the notion that home deliveries could be dropped from the sky sometime in the future.
While the segment earned Amazon a ton of media and consumer attention at a critical time of year, it also showcased the retailer's inventory and supply chain investments. Most of what Amazon does is aimed at quicker, more accurate fulfillment.
And now there will be 10,000 robots operating in warehouses by the end of the year helping to process online orders more efficiently. CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the scheme during a shareholder meeting.
Robots aren't entirely new for Amazon, there are already some 1,300 in operation in Amazon distribution centers. The technology was created by Kiva Systems, a company Amazon purchased for $775 million in 2012.
Robotic fulfillment is a far more realistic initiative than drone delivery, and a more important one to Amazon as the retailer continues to best the competition with delivery prowess.
-See this CNN article
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