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article imageAmazon.com Claims Best Holiday Season Ever

By Marian Peters     Jan 2, 2009 in Business
Amazon declared the 2008 holiday season to be "the best ever, with over 6.3 million items ordered worldwide on the peak day December 15," according to Slate. The online retail giant was very evasive about providing sales data. Could it be Amazon.CON?
When Amazon put out a press release declaring 2008 to be their best holiday season ever, the story was quickly grabbed by the Associated Press, Reuters the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and even the web site for Business Week according to Slate. Some, but not all conceded that this was only a claim, as Amazon would not provide any revenue data for the entire shopping season; including the 'peak day' of December 15. They would not either confirm or deny that one or both of the revenue figures exceeded those of 2007. Without the sales data to confirm their claims, we have no way of comparing with other retailers or even to it's own sales during the previous Christmas shopping season. Amazon.CON?
Associated Press reported that Amazon customers ordered 6.3 million items December 15 compared with roughly 5.4 million on its peak day last year, an increase of 17 percent. It shipped more than 5.6 million products on its best day, a 44 percent rise over 2007, when it shipped about 3.9 million on its busiest day.
The company did not provide dollar figures and wouldn't divulge if the average orders had changed. This was great news considering most other retailers reported losses including online businesses.
Amazons best sellers include the Nintendo Wii game console, Samsing's 52 inch LCD HDTV and Apples Inc's iPod touch. Analysts are divided as to whether this indicates strength in online commerce in general.
According to Reuters, Amazons shares jumped up by nearly 4 percent as this was considered a rare bright spot when other retail chains reported that their sales were the weakest in decades.
Amazon shipped merchandise to more than 210 countries and said it shipped more than 99 percent of orders on time for holiday deadlines.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also gave kudos to Amazon and Wal-Mart as well. These are the only two retail giants reporting an increase in sales. Most retailers are hoping for a post-Christmas surge driven by discount shopping. It is still a shoppers paradise and it looks like this trend will continue well into the new year.
The Washington Post reported that Amazon, which is known for its bargain prices did not say whether the increase brought in more or less revenue than previous years. Amazon.CON?
This year there were five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas which could have attributed to more last minute online purchases. Holiday sales typically make up between 30-50 percent of a retailers annual budget. Online retailers are not immune to tightening budgets.
Even Business Week reported that the opinions from Wall Street analysts has Amazon making headlines. It's amazing how this news caused an increase in Amazon's stocks by nearly 4 percent without any sales figures being divulged.
Amazon.com or Amazon.con? You be the judge.
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