By  on April 26, 2018

The final word on Amazon's roller coaster of a first quarter will come Thursday afternoon, when the e-commerce giant weighs in with its financial results and offers a glimpse of what's coming next.While many experts are looking for signs that Amazon will strengthen its apparel business, fashion is just a part of the company's much larger push for consumer dominance.Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer, told shareholders last week that the Prime membership program hit a milestone, registering over 100 million subscribers. The company is also working, as usual, on a dizzying array of new initiatives, like a program to deliver goods to customers' cars, a new deal with electronics retailer Best Buy and a kid-friendly tweak to its Alexa digital assistant.But Amazon has also faced protests tied to its hunt for a second headquarters and its treatment of employees as well as security bugs in its cloud business at the start of the year. And there was also the intense burst of tweets from President Trump, attacking the company, in particular for the deal it struck with the Post Office, which is a profitable arrangement for the government.Any unease is compounded by a certain shakiness in technology stocks lately, driven at least in part by data concerns at Facebook and Trump's tweetstorm. Amazon shares dropped as much as 3.1 percent Wednesday and closed up just 8 cents to $1,450.17.On average, analysts are looking for the company's first-quarter profits to fall to $1.27 a share from $1.48 a year ago while net revenues grow 39.6 percent to $49.87 billion.

Some experts believe fashion has become a critical goalpost for the company and an area that could receive more attention this year.

A recent survey of 1,500 U.S. shoppers by CPC Strategy, a digital marketing firm for the retail sector, found that 46.7 percent of those surveyed bought fashions from a retailer’s web site in the last six months. But 52.1 percent headed to Amazon.

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