Jeff Bezos is closing in on $100 billion after a Black Friday stock surge

 

  • Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is closing in on a net worth of $100 billion.
  • Retail stocks have surged after strong Black Friday sales figures, pushing Amazon stock to record highs and adding $1.7 billion to Bezos' fortune.
  • He would be the first person in the modern era with a known fortune of $100 billion. 

Jeff Bezos, the world's richest person, is closing in on a fortune of $100 billion after Black Friday buzz sent Amazon stock soaring to record highs.

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Retail stocks are surging after Americans went crazy for Black Friday deals, spending about $1.5 billion online Thanksgiving evening.

Amazon is up about 1.9% through mid-morning Friday to $1,178 a share, adding $1.7 billion to Bezos' net worth and pushing his total fortune to over $99 billion, based on data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, owns 78.9 million shares of the tech and retailing giant, according to November filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, a roughly 16% stake currently worth $92.9 billion.

His fortune stood at $97.9 billion after the last stock market close on Wednesday, according to the Billionaires Index, which is updated at the close of every trading day in New York. 

7 shock-worthy facts about Amazon:

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7 shock-worthy facts about Amazon
7.5 percent of Seattle's working-age population are Amazon employees

Amazon has more than 300,000 employees worldwide, and 40,000 in Seattle alone.

As a portion of the city's working-age population — roughly 528,000 — that comes out to 7.5% of the city working at Amazon.

For perspective, if the same portion of New York City's adults worked for one company, that company would have about 488,000 locals on staff.

Amazon accounts for 43% of all online sales

Amazon used to be a way to buy books online; today, it's the default buying site for just about everything, especially for people who have Amazon Prime.

An analysis by Slice Intelligence released in February found that 43% of all US online retail sales were done through Amazon in 2016.

That's up from 33% in 2015 and 25% in 2012.

1 out of every 4 US adults has Amazon Prime.

Speaking of Amazon Prime, the company now counts approximately 63 million people among its subscriber base, or about 25% of the total US adult population.

That number may underestimate the true coverage, however, since it doesn't account for multiple adults in one household all sharing the same Prime account.

Amazon ships 1.6 million packages a day

Amazon fulfillment is a beast of its own.

A report from 2013 (the latest year for which data are available) found Amazon shipped 608 million packages that year, or 1.6 million packages a day.

As of 2015, Amazon estimated its fulfillment centers were within 20 miles of 31% of the US population, and within 20 miles of 50-65% of its core, same-day-accessible market.

That's enough cardboard to span all of West Virginia

A back-of-the-envelope calculation reveals all those packages (not including padded envelopes) yield roughly 26,400 square miles of cardboard.

The total land area of West Virginia, meanwhile, is just north of 24,000 square miles.

Given the speed of Amazon's shipments, the company could blanket the whole US in cardboard in about five months.

45,000 robots roam the floors of Amazon's warehouses

To help those shipments leave the warehouses on time, Amazon relies on a growing fleet of autonomous robots that fetch packages from their shelves and bring them to human employees.

The 45,000 robots live across 20 fulfillment centers in the US. In 2016, the company increased the fleet 50% from its prior head count of 30,000.

Amazon is more valuable than all major brick-and-mortar retailers combined

The sum total of those investments in infrastructure and supply chain management have made Amazon by far the most valuable retailer in the United States.

Amazon's $356 billion valuation is so big, it's larger than Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Macy's, Kohl's, JCPenney, and Sears combined.

With the recent acquisition of Whole Foods, there are no signs the retailer has any plans of slowing down.

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With Amazon up 1.9% Friday, his stake in the company would have increased from $91.2 billion, based on Amazon's closing price of around $1,156 on Wednesday, to $92.9 billion at the $1,178 price Friday morning — a $1.7 billion jump. 

That would put his net worth at $99.6 billion.

In addition to his Amazon holdings and cash investments, Bezos owns a roughly $3 billion stake in rocket company Blue Origin, and he also owns The Washington Post, which he paid $250 million for, according to Bloomberg. 

Bezos eclipsed Bill Gates as the richest person in the world in October. He would be the first person in the modern era with a known fortune of $100 billion or more. 

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