This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, December 11, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: My next guest wants you to do all your holiday shopping online instead of waiting on line. With Christmas just 14 days away -- is that right? That is right. Amazon.com has been pushing a free shipping promotion and big bargains to reel in more consumers. Is it working? Let's ask the jolly old elf who runs Amazon, Jeff Bezos.
Hey Jeff, how are you?
CAVUTO: All right. I should disclose here I'm big user of your site, done a lot of shopping there. See, all these people think I just do malls, I spread my wealth around.
CAVUTO: The fact is that I have heard anecdotally and through e-mails and everything else that a lot of people are doing a lot of business online, and that for all of you guys, it is up a lot over last year. How much?
BEZOS: Well, we are having record days. This is certainly going to be a record holiday season. We have free shipping through tomorrow so people can take advantage of free shipping through tomorrow -- tomorrow is the last day when you use free shipping still get your items in time for Christmas.
CAVUTO: And what happens if it is after tomorrow?
BEZOS: After tomorrow, you can use standard shipping at our regular standard shipping regular rates right through Wednesday of next week, Wednesday December 18. After that you have to use next day air, or second day air, you can do that right up through midnight December 22. And then, of course, for the true procrastinator, you've got gift certificates on the twenty-fourth. And they will still get delivered in time.
CAVUTO: Really? On the twenty-fourth.
CAVUTO: So there are plenty of options open to me. All right. Now let me ask you, this business, particularly during the holiday period, your site has been revamped. You have a lot of merchandisers who kind of share space with you. How does that work, if you go through one of your merchants, how do you get a percentage of that? And how do you guys share on that?
BEZOS: We negotiate a revenue share with that partner. So for example in our apparel store, we have over 470 major brands. It's everything from Land's End to Eddie Bauer to Gap to Nordstrom to Old Navy. And it goes on and on. It's all of the important clothing brands. And then in fact, in this last 30 days, this has been our fastest store launch ever in terms of number of items sold. So people right now can get $30 promotional certificate when they spend $50 or more in that apparel store. And then we share that revenue with the partner. And so we just work out what that revenue share should be.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you something, when you were doing this, not too many other people were, as you know, Jeff, now it seems everybody and his uncle is, even retailers and merchants who once looked askance and were actually anxious about doing anything on the Web now routinely make it part of their business. Many argue that's going to make growth for you tough. And it's certainly going to make it tougher to justify the very generous multiples on your stock.
BEZOS: Well, one of the things about e-commerce is it is hard to do well. And we have been doing it for a long time. People know that we will get the packages there in time for the holidays. For example, we've gotten better every year. We have always been pretty good. This year we are going to be our best ever. One of the reasons that so many great companies like Toys "R" Us, and Target, and Nordstrom, and Gap, are partnering with us is because they do value our expertise in e-commerce. It is a difficult business. And it's quite a bit different from physical world retailing.
CAVUTO: But still, it comes back to this issue, even those who deal with you and many outside who do not, it is a zero-sum game. Barnes & Noble is saying, certainly, you know, we have a much richer supply catalog of books than Jeff and his gang do. In the New York Metropolitan area, they are even claiming to get it to you same day. I mean, everyone is eating away at your various businesses from all ends. Are you getting nervous?
BEZOS: We are still growing very rapidly. This is a big market. And there is room for lots of winners. What our job is and the way that we think we can continue to grow our company, is by focusing on the customer experience. And that means doing a great job on every detail, reliability, but also low prices. So one of the ways that we have driven growth over the last couple of years is by really aggressively discounting. Now you've got the free shipping on orders over $25. You've got 30 percent off books over $15. Great prices on electronics, tools, kitchen products. So, we've gotten efficient enough that we can really drive prices very low. And that is big part of what's driving our growth today.
CAVUTO: Do you use your site to shop?
BEZOS: In fact some people would have accused me of having kind of an addiction. So, yes, I have got boxes coming every day.
CAVUTO: All right. Jeff Bezos, good seeing you again.
BEZOS: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Jeff Bezos, the man who runs Amazon.com.
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