Dec 27, 2008

Business - Amazon bucks trend, posts record holiday sales

NEW YORK (AFP) – Internet retail giant reported record holiday sales on Friday, a rare good performance in one of the most dismal holiday shopping seasons in years.

The Seattle, Washington-based online store did not provide a breakdown of sales figures but said online orders reached record levels during the holiday shopping season for the 14th year in a row.

It said in a statement that more than 6.3 million items were ordered worldwide and 5.6 million units shipped on its peak day, December 15.

Amazon said it shipped items to more than 210 countries between November 14 and December 24 and more than 99 percent of its orders arrived in time for the holidays.

Amazon said best-selling holiday items this year included the Samsung 52-inch HDTV, the Apple iPod, the Acer netbook computer and Nintendo Wii.

According to a MasterCard survey published Friday, retail sales dropped by up to eight percent during the traditional November-December shopping period this year even after retailers slashed prices to woo bargain hunters.

The holiday season is seen as make-or-break for many retailers and key to the struggling US economy, which relies on consumer spending for 70 percent of activity.

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