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Old 12-28-2008, 08:14 AM   #1
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Default Amazon claims record holiday orders in '08 season

Fri Dec 26, 2008 12:15pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online retailer Amazon.com Inc on Friday reported its best holiday sales season yet, even as sales and traffic at U.S. store chains were the weakest in decades, sending its shares up nearly 4 percent.

Analysts have pointed to Amazon as a rare bright spot in this year's holiday shopping season due to its scale and flexibility, as retailers try to outdo each other with deep discounts to lure consumers during a recession.

Online sales were also helped by winter storms that hit large sections of the United States on the last major shopping weekend before Christmas.

In a release titled "Amazon.com's 14th holiday season is best ever," the company said more than 6.3 million items were ordered on its site worldwide for the peak shopping day of December 15, amounting to 72.9 items ordered per second. On its peak day, it shipped more than 5.6 million units.

However, the company gave no financial details regarding the sales, such as how its margins fared with the discounts seen across the retail sector.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Scott Devitt said Amazon's day of peak orders represented a 17 percent rise from a year ago, while its peak shipments represented an increase of 44 percent. He rates the share a "buy" with a $61 price target.

Amazon shipped merchandise to more than 210 countries, and said it shipped more than 99 percent of orders on time for holiday deadlines.

Amazon shares rose 3.6 percent to $53.31.

(Reporting by Michele Gershberg; Editing by Derek Caney and Steve Orlofsky)

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http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv...4BP1UJ20081226
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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Default How Amazon Cons the Press

http://www.slate.com/id/2207537/

Amazon.con
How the online retail giant hoodwinks the press.

By Timothy NoahPosted Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008, at 3:00 PM ET


I am the most successful writer in the United States. Based on what, you ask? You'll just have to take my word for it. Not good enough, you say? Then why is it good enough when Amazon claims to be the most successful retailer in the United States?


The day after Christmas, Amazon put out a press release declaring the 2008 holiday season "its best ever, with over 6.3 million items ordered worldwide on the peak day, Dec. 15." The story was eagerly snapped up by the Associated Press, Reuters, the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and even the Web site for Business Week, which really ought to know better.

Some, but not all, of these accounts went on to concede that Amazon would not provide revenue data for the entire shopping season, or even for its "peak day." Nor would Amazon confirm or deny that one or both of these revenue figures exceeded those for 2007.

Without this information, we can't possibly know whether Amazon had a good year in comparison either to other retailers or to its own sales during the previous Christmas shopping season.

The same gullibility applies to coverage of the Kindle, Amazon's e-book reader. The New York Times reported on Dec. 23 that "the e-book has started to take hold." We "know" this "in part because of the popularity of Amazon.com's Kindle device," which is "out of stock and unavailable until February." The Post fronted essentially the same story in its business section on Dec. 27. But these newspapers were unable to report how many Kindles Amazon sold, much less how much revenue these sales generated, because Amazon won't release that information. We don't even know whether Amazon sold more Kindles this year than last.

Amazon is famously stingy with financial numbers generally. This Christmas season, that's proving to be a winning strategy in dealing with a business press that, between layoffs and the usual holiday vacations, appears short-staffed to the point of utter witlessness.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:21 PM   #3
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I don't know if Amazon had a big year or not, but I can say that more than half of my Christmas shopping this year was through them up from last year when they accounted for about a third of my gift buying.

.....Alan.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:34 AM   #4
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I shopped exclusively on line and I have done for a number of years.

This year I bought nothing at Amazon. Last year I think I bought almost all the gifts from there. This year I felt they were too over priced. Now with their discounts they are still over priced after Christmas. I have a gift certificate that I thought I'd shop with. Maybe prices will come down later in January.
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