For speeding up the delivery of change.

Amazon introduced same-day shipping in seven major U.S. markets more than three years ago, but the e-commerce giant's significant 2012 expansion of its next-day and same-day delivery services was a jolt: The entire retail industry seemed to realize its power. Late last year, as Amazon's ambitions came into focus, rivals such as Google, eBay, and Walmart could only attempt to catch up, launching modest pilot programs and making investments. Even shipping services UPS, FedEx, and USPS upped their game. Eight moments from Amazon's instant gratification revolution:

Acquires robotics maker Kiva Systems for $775 million. Kiva robots can reduce order-processing time to 20 minutes.

Announces a new warehouse in Jeffersonville, Indiana, near Louisville's airport, an international shipping hub.

Increases spending on fulfillment 51.5% over previous year, to almost $1.3 billion.

Announces two new warehouses in New Jersey to serve the New York metro area's 19 million-plus residents.

Shipping costs as percentage of sales drop; proximity to customers cited as contributing factor.

Silicon Valley press takes notice of 7-Eleven delivery locker service in the Bay Area. (Amazon didn't announce it; expansion was a surprise.)

Opens San Bernardino distribution center to serve more than 21 million in Southern California.

Announces 1.26-million-square-foot warehouse to serve mega-region formed by Dallas, Houston, and Austin.

[Photo By Victoria Ling]

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  • Lighttouched

    Why exactly do people need same day delivery? "Announces 1.26-million-square-foot warehouse". I gues they don't talk about environmental footprint, either. People are nuts.

  • Keithbarnwell1

    Amazon - famous tax avoiders in the UK and responsible for the destruction of the British retail industry and high street! The sooner this monster fails the better. They boast about same day delivery and yet pay not a penny in tax to support the transport infrastructure that enables them to do so! That is left to the people of the UK. Never ever buy from amazon!

  • In my day...

    Grumble grumble horse and buggy.  Sounds like the British tax laws have some big holes, why would you ever expect a company to pay more than they had to?  Do you donate extra from your taxes or skip taking a deduction?

  • Jenni

    Apparently not only the UK but also the US and most other countries have "some big holes" in their tax system as Starbucks, Apple and Amazon succeed to get around paying high enough taxes. That might not speak for our taxing systems but it also and most certainly doesn’t speak for the greatness and innovativeness of these companies. (Neither do the circumstances in their factories/sources...)

  • 17anteater

    How do Amazon stock their warehouses? How do they keep the right supply in each one?

  • Guest

    From a few thousand feet away, Amazon looks so cool. Working in the "make rate or die" fulfillment environment: not so much.