E-commerce superpower Amazon is celebrating its best holiday sales period ever thanks to a record-breaking number of items bought across the globe. The company released its holiday sales information on Wednesday and claimed “all-new Echo Dot, L.O.L. Surprise! Glam Glitter Series Doll, fashion items from Carhartt, and Bose QuietComfort Wireless Headphones,” along with other items, lead the sales increase. Along with the rise in revenue, the firm also enjoyed an uptick in Amazon Prime memberships, which includes members-only benefits such as “FREE Same-Day, One-Day or Two-Day shipping, in addition to FREE two-hour delivery with Prime Now,” and access to the Prime video streaming service.
“This season was our best yet, and we look forward to continuing to bring our customers what they want, in ways most convenient for them in 2019,” wrote Amazon’s Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer in a press release. “We are thrilled that in the U.S. alone, more than one billion items shipped for free this holiday with Prime,” he added. “Thank you to our employees all around the world who are committed to bringing our customers the widest selection of products with low prices and fast and free delivery options throughout the holidays and all year long.”
At the time of this writing, Amazon’s stock price is trading at $1,436.98 per share, which is close to a seven percent increase from the previous close. The rest of the FAANG stocks (Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google) are also trading in the green. However, these firms aren’t the only companies celebrating this week. According to one report from Reuters, US retail sales grew more than five percent this holiday season.
“From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail,” said MasterCard’s senior adviser Steve Sadove while speaking to Reuters.
Leading the pack are the online retailers, but even traditional department stores are seeing a substantial increase in sales via their websites. The sales numbers for the physical storefronts, however, saw only a minuscule rise, continuing a now three-year trend. The stock prices of both Wal-Mart and Target were riding the wave of post-holiday sales numbers and were up on Wednesday.
Across the Atlantic, the sales figures are much less encouraging. Although many retailers in the UK slashed prices after the holidays to encourage more shoppers, the number of Britons braving the streets to spend money was down more than four percent compared to 2017, reports Reuters. The stress and uncertainty of Brexit have suppressed retail revenue numbers throughout the year, and many stores had banked on high sales volumes in the last quarter to make up for lost ground. Although shops may have been emptier than in previous years, bars and restaurants enjoyed high traffic.