Jennifer Driscoll

By Laura Spinale The flameout. It can certainly accompany plunging revenues. Just look at Gateway, which saw North American overall sales drop from $8.15 billion to $5.38 billion between 2000 and 2001. More surreptitiously, high sales volume does not equal profitability. Witness Kmart. That company's sales dipped 0.82 percent, to $36.24 billion, in 2001. Kmart filed bankruptcy in January and later announced it would close 284 under-performing stores and cut 22,000 jobs. Meanwhile, Amazon.com cut costs, pressed operational efficiencies and leveraged traffic-generating partnerships. Amazon.com's net sales for 2001 reached a record-setting $3.12 billion, a 13 percent increase; its Electronics, Tools and Kitchen segments operating losses

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