Amazon reports ‘record’ holiday sales

Marianne Wilson
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Amazon is one of the first retailers out of the gate to report a happy holiday. 

As always, the e-commerce giant provided no specifics on numbers of shoppers, items ordered or money spent — although it did provide some insight into grocery sales.  It described the holiday season as “record-breaking,” with “billions of items” ordered worldwide and “tens of millions” of Amazon Devices purchased worldwide. 

Amazon reported that more people tried Prime this holiday season than any previous year, with more than 5 million new customers starting Prime free trials or beginning paid memberships worldwide in just one week alone. It said that the number of Prime members who tried grocery delivery for the first time this holiday season increased by more than 80%, and that Prime members ordered more than double the number of grocery items this holiday season compared to last year.

Here are some other holiday highlights from Amazon:

• Amazon added more than 250,000 full and part-time seasonal roles across its global customer fulfillment network this holiday season, with the company now employing 750,000 employees worldwide.

•    Sixty percent more customers shipped their holiday order to an Amazon pickup point this season compared to last year.

•    The top 10 cities that used an Amazon Locker or Amazon Counter location this holiday were Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, San Jose, Berkeley (Calif.), Austin and Columbus.

•    The last delivery with Amazon’s ultra-fast delivery arrived on Christmas Eve at 11:59 p.m. (PT) in Seattle. 

• Toys, fashion, home and beauty items were popular departments to shop with more than half a billion total items ordered in Amazon’s Stores.

• It was a record-breaking holiday season for independent third-party sellers – mostly small and medium-sized businesses – with worldwide unit sales seeing double-digit year-over-year growth, surpassing a billion items sold in Amazon’s Stores.