During his keynote presentation delivered the morning of June 11 at the 2002 Annual Catalog Conference (ACC) held at Chicago’s McCormick Place June 10–13, Seattle-based Amazon.com’s CEO Jeff Bezos announced an exclusive online partnership with New York-based J&R Electronics. J&R’s co-CEO Rachelle Friedman joined Bezos on the podium to say that it took her a long time to “wrap her head around the paradigm” of partnering up with a fierce e-commerce rival, but nonetheless said she is “exited because it’s Amazon, a company that we all admire. I’m exited because J&R will get an opportunity to share a marketplace where the customer gets the best in products, pricing, and service.” Direct Marketing Association CEO H. Robert Wientzen asked Bezos during the Q&A session whether this agreement with a competitor such as J&R would cannibalize sales. Bezos agreed with this observation, but nevertheless promoted past online partnerships with Toysrus.com and Target of examples of how increased Web sales achieved through partnerships are mutually beneficial to Amazon and its partners.
ACC is co-presented by Catalog Age, O&F’s sister publication, and The Direct Marketing Association. For more information about the conference, visit www.catalogconference.com.