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Amazon forays into new realms, this time insurance and theatres

Amazon (AMZN) doesn’t like to stay idle. This week, the company announced its plans to enter two completely different sectors – insurance and movie theatres. The retail behemoth’s plans do not just span across sectors, but across countries as well.

Amazon buying movie theatres
(Image Courtesy: osseous/Flickr)

Amazon is reportedly planning the launch of an insurance price comparison website in the UK. The company is said to be discussing with insurers the contribution of products to the website. The details on the types of products, the financial arrangements with insurers and the website launch plans were not disclosed.

Insurance price comparison websites are more common in the UK as compared to the US or Europe and the most popular policies are home and motor. Amazon already offers a range of services related to homes like smart home devices and security monitoring, and stepping into insurance makes sense.

Amazon already offers a range of services related to homes like smart home devices and security monitoring, and stepping into insurance makes sense  

Amazon has the scale and resources to make this venture profitable and it will also benefit from its large customer base. It is not clear whether Amazon has any broader plans in relation to the website but this news was enough to send the stocks of a few insurance comparison sites in the UK down on Thursday.

Amazon is also considering the acquisition of Landmark Theatres, the largest art house movie theatre chain in the US with over 50 cinemas in more than 25 markets. This purchase is being compared to the Whole Foods deal by many in the sense that it allows Amazon to combine physical space with its digital offerings.

Amazon can benefit from this acquisition by being able to take part in the kind of retail experience that requires a physical presence, like movies. The deal could prove beneficial to Amazon Studios in terms of distribution and costs. Like Whole Foods and grocery, the movie experience can also be clubbed with Prime by offering discounts and perks on movie tickets for Prime members.

The theatre chain will also provide Amazon with valuable physical locations, which the company can convert into something innovative and exceptional. This news, like the insurance one, sent stocks of movie chains stumbling on Thursday.

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