Tech Industry

Greeting card sales next for Amazon?

Amazon.com registers a handful of domain names which suggest the company is considering greeting card sales.

Amazon.com recently registered a handful of domain names which suggest the company is considering greeting card sales.

According to a search of the Internic database, the online retailer now controls the domain names amazongreetings.com, amazoncard.com, and amazongreeting.com. The addresses could be used as the Seattle, Washington-based company prepares to add to add to existing book, music, video, and gift sales, or to prevent other companies from taking advantage of its brand name.

In 1999, Amazon plans to expand its product offerings, according to Joy Covey, the company's chief financial officer, who spoke at the NationsBanc Montgomery Securities conference today.

The company isn't afraid of lower-margin items like greeting cards, according to Covey. "We may choose not to pursue high-margin opportunities if there's a better opportunity elsewhere," she said.

Last week, the company said it would continue to invest heavily in infrastructure and raised $1.25 billion in a debt offering. In addition to systems improvements, "We also intend to enhance the scope and quality of products that we provide to our customers," chief executive Jeff Bezos said in a 10K filing.

Amazon posted a loss of $22.2 million in the fourth quarter, on $252.9 million in sales. Although January sales were down compared with December, Covey said, she expects first-quarter sales to be higher than the fourth quarter.

But expansion plans will drive losses higher for at least the next couple of quarters.

Since last summer, Amazon has expanded into the music and video marketplaces. In the fourth quarter, music sales increased to $33.1 million, a 130 percent jump over the third quarter. Amazon did not disclose sales figures for its video business, but Covey said the company is "pleased with the growth."

Amazon could not be reached for comment.