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In his annual letter to shareholders, Amazon (AMZN) Chief Executive Jeff Bezos disclosed Wednesday afternoon that Amazon Prime has topped 100 million paid Prime members worldwide.

Bezos also confirmed Wednesday that Amazon expects Prime to soon be a factor in its Whole Foods grocery stores, after the e-commerce company acquired the brick-and-mortar chain for $13.7 billion previous year (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-for-137-billion-2017-06-16-91035726). Obviously, we can guess that Prime has been a big win for Amazon, but the fact that the company has never shared specific subscriber numbers means it's impossible to know just how successful it's been. Bezos's comments show that Seattle-based company is selling Prime memberships overseas, demonstrating it can replicate its USA success abroad, said RJ Hottovy, an analyst at Morningstar Inc.

Amazon also charges $99 annually for subscribing to the Prime program.

The online retail giant debuted Prime 13 years ago as a way for people to get free two-day shipping and access to the company's video streaming library. The above figure applies to its worldwide operations with the company claiming its recent expansion in Luxembourg, Mexico, Singapore and the Netherlands proved to be extremely lucrative. "Customers bought tens of millions of Echo devices, and Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa were the best-selling products across all of Amazon - across all categories and all manufacturers".

Bezos noted the milestone in his annual shareholder letter, published Wednesday. The online purchases made by the Prime members make for an additional revenue stream all of which proves its Prime program has been hugely successful so far.

While it has been the topic of a debate and wild speculation, all of that has been put to rest with Amazon finally coming clean on the size of its Prime member base.

Bezos, who has released such a piece of communication on a yearly basis since 1997, said its critical to continuously set higher and higher standards for the company as time goes on because customers do the same for expectations.

"People are pretty good at learning high standards simply through exposure", he said.

In a statement, Amazon said all its marketplace sellers "must follow our selling guidelines and those who don't will be subject to action including potential removal of their account". Over 300,000 US -based SMBs started selling on Amazon in 2017, and Fulfillment by Amazon shipped billions of items for SMBs worldwide...

Bezos also revealed how 2017 has been its best year ever.