In a Move that has been expected for some time, began selling videos last week. But in a somewhat more surprising action, Amazon also launched a "Gift" store, featuring products from PalmPilots to Parcheesi.

The video store will offer more than 60,000 standard-issue videos and more than 2000 DVDs, and will, according to director of publicity Bill Curry, eventually become "the full Amazonian experience," with reviews, interviews and computer-generated recommendations. The site will also capitalize on its increased selection by bundling, for instance, a Titanic book, video and soundtrack and presenting them together on the site. The company is using its Washington State and Delaware distribution centers to fulfill orders for the new items.

The addition of the PalmPilot -- which has electronic-book-reading capabilities -- d s not mean that the retailer is looking to break further into the e-book field. "It's something that will probably be very successful one day," Curry said. "But right now we think the market is very young and not yet ripe for widespread adoption."

Apart from being products that d sn't carry, video and gift selections on Amazon. com's site validates what many analysts have long believed: for the company to become profitable, it must move beyond books.

Indeed, Curry told PW, the company has aggressive retail plans. "We want to be the leading destination for e-commerce, where people can buy almost anything they want to buy on the Net," he said. But he cautioned: "It's a long-term project and it will take a long time to get there." He also said that "books are clearly where our roots are."

To better determine how it will branch out, will look closely at the success or failure of particular items, in a process Curry described as " a learning experience."

The diversification of products made a more immediate impact on another front -- Wall Street. In the two days following the video and gift launch,'s stock climbed nearly 40 points, to a post-split high of $164.