Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Amazon reports record holiday sales

Online retailers are enjoying a cheerful holiday season, with industry leader Amazon.com reporting record sales during the period.

Through Dec. 22, sales for the industry were up 24 percent from the previous year to $17.5 billion, according to ComScore Networks Inc. By the end of the month, Internet sales are expected to reach $19 billion.

Amazon, the online retailing giant in Seattle, said Monday that it sold a record 108 million products from Nov. 1 to Dec. 25, boosted by big demand for such items as Apple iPod portable music players and "The Chronicles of Narnia" paperback book set. The company did not report holiday sales figures last year.

Sales peaked Dec. 12 with a single day record of 3.6 million items ordered, equal to 41 items per second, according to Amazon. The date illustrates a trend in online retailing for busy Mondays, apparently reflecting people's tendency to shop by computer at work after a weekend spent at bricks-and-mortar stores.

Amazon topped the list of most visited e-commerce sites during the holidays, followed by Best Buy, Walmart.com, eBay and Target, according to a survey by Majestic Research.

Amazon's happy holidays

As electronic commerce boomed this holiday, Amazon.com reported a record 108 million orders. Some of the season's highlights:

-- Busiest day: 3.6 million orders on Dec. 12
-- Number of countries shipped to: 200
-- Number of gift certificates: 600,000
-- Most expensive item sold: $94,000 diamond earrings
-- Big sellers: Apple iPods; "Star Wars, Episode II - Revenge of the Sith" DVD; candy cane shower gel from Philosophy

Source: Amazon.com

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