No recession here: Amazon.com reports best Christmas season ever

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No recession here: Amazon.com reports best Christmas season ever

Seattle (WA) – Retailers are slashing prices to curb Christmas sales declines, but there is also a surprising success story from Amazon.com, which reported that its 14th holiday season was the best in the company’s history.

Amazon.com did not release exact sales numbers, but provided some stunning numbers of items ordered. The strongest day of the season was December 15, Amazon said, and saw a total of 6.3 million items ordered – or almost 73 items every second.  Between November 15 and December 10, the company sold one copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 every 2.5 minutes. The weight of all GPS devices sold from Black Friday through December equals the combined weight of 151 Mini Coopers, Amazon.com said.

The top sellers in consumer electronics included Samsung’s 52” 120 Hz LCD HDTV, the Apple iPod touch 8 GB and the Acer Aspire One 8.9” netbook with a 160 GB hard drive. The best-selling software included Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Norton Antivirus 2009 and Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Home &  Student Edition. The most successful DVDs were Wall-E and the The Dark Knight; the best-selling Blu-ray disc was The Dark Knight, the company said.

There was no surprise in video game console shipments: Nintendo Wii dominated the top sellers in video games and hardware including the Wii console, the Wii remote controller and the Wii nunchuk controller.

Analysts believe that heavy snowfall in some regions in the U.S. created a favorable scenario for online stores. “Online spending over the most recent weekend was clearly substantially heavier than the corresponding weekend nearest Christmas last year, which suggests that many consumers opted for the cozier confines of online shopping rather than having to brave the severe cold and snowstorms affecting much of the northern half of the country,” said ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “It’s also clear that this year’s compressed shopping season has resulted in some consumers buying online later than they did a year ago. A positive late-season boost for online retail perhaps, but it’s ultimately not going to do much to make up for the significantly shorter shopping season this year.”

Comscore estimates that through December 21, $24.71 billion has been spent online, down 1% versus the same period in 2007. Online spending during the last recent weekend (December 20-21) totaled $677 million, down 17% from the fourth weekend after Thanksgiving last year (December 16-17, 2007). However, Comscore noted that when compared to the weekend nearest Christmas last year (December 22-23, 2007), spending this past weekend was nearly twice as high.