Posts Best Xmas Sales Ever; iPod Among Most Popular

Internet retailer Inc. reported record holiday sales Monday, thanks to strong consumer demand for products like the Apple iPod digital media device. For the first time in the companyis 10 year history, consumer electronics surpassed book sales and was its largest sales category over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Amazon, which did not provide financial details, said it had set a single-day record of more than 2.8 million units ordered, or 32 items per second, worldwide. It shipped more than two million units worldwide on the peak day of the holiday period, which covered from November 25 to December 24.

The top selling electronics products this year were the Apple 20 gigabyte (GB) iPod and the Apple 4GB Silver iPod mini, the Phillips DVP642 DivX Progressive Scan DVD player, the iTunes US$15 prepaid Card and the Canon PowerShot SD 110 3MP Digital Elph camera.

More than half a million gift certificates were ordered between November 25 and December 24, the company said, and its online music store sold a record of more than one million units per week for two consecutive weeks in December.

The retailer added that customers bought more than 1 million items from its music category during each of two back-to-back weeks this month. Its jewelry and watch segment sold more than one watch per minute since Nov. 25.

A plus in Amazon.comis favor: the standard shipping deadline was extended two days from December 18 to December 20, compared to 2003.