Amazon hits a holiday sales record

The retailer sold 158 items per second on its peak shopping day.

By Kim Peterson Dec 28, 2010 1:41PM
Credit: (© Amazon.com)
Caption: Amazon KindleAmazon (AMZN) investors must have the patience of a saint. How else do you deal with a company that hides so much information?

The company's holiday press releases are exasperating. Amazon dribbles out some carefully chosen facts but is silent about so many others. As a result, we're left trying to decipher what those few numbers really mean about the retailer's holiday quarter.

In this case, the numbers are pretty impressive. Amazon said it sold 13.7 million items worldwide on its peak day, Nov. 29. That's 158 items every second -- a record for the company.

The company gave no hint at what those sales actually translate into as far as revenue and profit. We'll find out when Amazon unveils its fourth-quarter earnings, likely at the end of January.

The market gave Amazon's news a collective shrug Tuesday. The retailer's stock price was flat at $181.65. Post continues after video:
Amazon also said it has a new best-selling product. The Kindle electronic reader beat out the seventh Harry Potter book to become the most popular item on its virtual shelves.

Again, there is much information missing. Amazon won't actually say how many Kindles it has sold, so we have no frame of reference. Amazon has never given Kindle sales figures, in fact.

But a recent Bloomberg report said the company is internally projecting to sell more than 8 million Kindle readers this year.

And although Amazon didn't refer to Apple's (AAPL) iPad by name, it had some things to say about all this talk about the iPad killing the Kindle.

Many people buying Kindles also have a tablet (read: iPad), chief executive Jeff Bezos said in a statement. They use those tablets for Web browsing, game playing and video watching, but they use their Kindles for reading, he added.

"Kindle's $139 price point is a key factor. It's low enough that people don't have to choose," Bezos said.



Tags: internet
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