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Last Updated: Monday, 27 December, 2004, 20:38 GMT
Amazon trumpets record Christmas
Amazon has benefited from surging demand for iPods
Internet retailer Amazon has cheered Wall Street by reporting the busiest Christmas in its 10-year history.

At its height, the company said it had been logging orders for 32 items per second worldwide.

The company attributed much of the increased trade to rampant demand for Apple computers and iPod music players.

The news sent Amazon's shares up by almost 9%, as traders seized on good news on an otherwise lacklustre day's trading on Wall Street.

Online good, offline bad

This Christmas is thought to have been more generally a strong one for online retailers.


In November and December, sales are thought to have risen 28% year on year to more than $15.5bn (8bn), excluding auctions and travel sales, according to research firm ComScore.

This contrasts with an at best flat picture for mainstream US retailers. Wal-Mart, the world's biggest and a crucial indicator of consumer health in the US, said seasonal sales growth would probably be in the 1-3% range - its lowest monthly growth forecast since early 2003.

Nonetheless, Wal-Mart's figures are still on course with expectations, and were enough to stave off complete gloom among retail analysts.

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