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Amazon.com touts 'best ever' holiday shopping season

December 26, 2008 | 12:09 pm

Amazon

'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the stores, not a retailer was happy ... except Amazon.com?

So boasts the Internet retailer, which claims its "best ever" holiday shopping season even as everyone else suffers through one of the worst.

According to Amazon.com, on its peak day, Dec. 15, shoppers ordered a record 6.3 million items. Last year on the peak day of Dec. 10, shoppers ordered 5.4 million items.

However, the handful of entertaining factoids carefully doled out (GPS devices sold from Black Friday through December equal the combined weight of 151 Mini Coopers) don't tell us much about just how jolly the shopping season was for Amazon.com. For example, Amazon.com does not say what shoppers bought or for how much. The Internet retailer is famously Scrooge-like with such information.

Barclays Capital analyst Douglas Anmuth explained in a note to investors Friday that another record holiday season for Amazon.com "should not come as a surprise" as more people shop online and Amazon.com continues to gain market share. What would have been a surprise or, rather, what would have delivered a big lump of coal to the market, is if Amazon.com didn't do so well. After all, this is one company that is supposed to thrive in economic downturns.

In the meantime, retailers are hoping today will brighten their spirits with a much needed after Christmas rush to unload excess inventory.

-- Jessica Guynn

Photo: An Amazon.com employee grabs boxes off the conveyor belt to load in a truck at the Fernley, Nev., warehouse earlier this month. Credit: Scott Sady / Associated Press.

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