Amazon posts first profit, opens London photo studio

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported its first profit in history for the second quarter. Sales jumped 20 percent to earnings of $92 million, compared with a loss of $126 million in the same quarter one year ago.

As of yesterday, Amazon was said to be worth about $264 billion, CNNMoney reported. Although Amazon does not share specifics on its finances, the company did hint that last week's Prime Day would be a big source of increased membership, and perhaps profit, for the third quarter. And Amazon's Web Services business seemed to be a big contributor, with sales growing 81 percent to $1.8 billion.

In addition, Amazon announced the opening of a 46,000 sq. ft. fashion photography studio in London. The move is part of the e-commerce retailer's plan to grow the company's fashion and apparel division.

The studio, in Shoreditch, is said to be one of the largest of its kind, and will help Amazon create and post more than 500,000 images of clothing a year, TechCrunch reported.

The move comes as Amazon is trying to ramp up its fashion business, both in the United States and Europe, and added 100 new fashion brands to its marketplace in 2014. Online fashion is already a big business in Europe so Amazon will have to face rivals such as Net-a-Porter, which was rumored to be in talks last spring with Amazon about a possible acquisition.

"Our aim is to make Amazon the best place to buy fashion online," said Sergio Bucher, VP of Amazon Fashion EU, in a statement to TechCrunch. "The opening of our new fashion studio, in the heart of one of the leading fashion capitals of the world, illustrates our ambitions."

In addition to photography, the studio has an editorial suite for editing video and a library. The new location will add 35 jobs plus another 75 during the holidays.

In another move to highlight its fashion offerings, last month Amazon began testing Stream, a Pinterest-like platform that will offer consumers a list of products for men, women and the home in an easy-to-browse format. The view only displays a photograph of the product and the price. Items selected can be saved to a wish list that is separate from the traditional Amazon wish list.

For more:
-See this CNNMoney article
-See this TechCrunch article

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