Amazon: the Q starts here

e-tailers rush for prime site

It appears online bookseller-cum-emporium could have a queue a mile long of people trying to rent e-tail cyberspace on its site. Outdoor goods e-tailer, the Sportsman's Guide, DG Jewelry (sic) Inc and its subsidiary NetJewels.com, and PC peripherals stockists iDOT.com are among those that have already signed up to take advantage of Amazon's 12 million shoppers through its new zShops initiative. E-tailers that rent the virtual real estate can sell up to 3,000 items for just $9.99 a month but they must also agree to pay Amazon between 1.25 and 5 per cent commission on items sold. Amazon's decision to open itself up as a virtual shopping mall has even excited analysts prompting some of them to class its stock as a "buy" option. Analysts at Credit Suisse First Boston rated Amazon a "buy" as did Argus Research which said the price target is $95.00 per share. As of lunchtime BST Amazon.com was trading at $79.94, down from a high of $81.5 on the day. ®

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