by Stephen Garner

Things just keep looking up for online mega-retailer Amazon. The company reported a net sales gain of 34 percent to $43.7 billion in the third quarter, compared with $32.7 billion in third quarter 2016.

Net sales include $1.3 billion from Whole Foods Market, which Amazon acquired in August. Excluding Whole Foods Market and the $124 million favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 29 percent compared with third quarter 2016.

Some highlights in the third quarter for Amazon include the launch of Amazon Key, a new service exclusively for Prime members that enables in-home delivery and secure home access for guests and service appointments. Amazon Key works with Amazon Cloud Cam, the company’s first home security offering. Amazon also introduced a convenient way for teens to shop or stream content on the Amazon App with their own login while still keeping their parents informed this quarter. Parents can now choose to approve all orders or set pre-approved spending limits per purchase, offering teens a customized level of autonomy that can change and grow as they do.

Most notably, Amazon created a frenzy with the announcement that the company was looking to open a second headquarters in North America, where it expects to invest $5 billion and create as many as 50,000 jobs. Amazon received 238 proposals from across North America.

Additionally, the company expects to create more than 120,000 seasonal jobs in its U.S. network of fulfillment centers, sortation centers, and customer service sites. Last year, Amazon transitioned thousands of holiday positions to regular, full-time roles after the holidays, and plans to continue that trend this year.

“In the last month alone, we’ve launched five new Alexa-enabled devices, introduced Alexa in India, announced integration with BMW, surpassed 25,000 skills, integrated Alexa with Sonos speakers, taught Alexa to distinguish between two voices and more. Because Alexa’s brain is in the AWS cloud, her new abilities are available to all Echo customers, not just those who buy a new device,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “And it’s working — customers have purchased tens of millions of Alexa-enabled devices, given Echo devices over 100,000 5-star reviews, and active customers are up more than 5x since the same time last year. With thousands of developers and hardware makers building new Alexa skills and devices, the Alexa experience will continue to get even better.”