Amazon reports record sales of $21bn

Online buying gets even more popular

Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, has reported record sales of $21.3bn (£13.5bn) for the last quarter of 2012

Amazon announced its sales figures for the fourth quarter of 2012 last night with a record high of $21bn helped by $9bn in international (including the UK) sales.

The writing has been on the wall for a while that customers are swapping the real high street for the virtual equivalent. The effect of Amazon's dominance, especially over the Christmas season, has been seen by the collapse of HMV and Jessops, among others.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon's shares jumped 11 per cent over in after-hours trading as New York reacted to the news.

International sales alone increased by 20 per cent since December 2011 and the online retailer continues to steal market share from its brick and mortar rivals.

Part of the reason is the growing popularity of eBooks and Amazon's own Kindle devices.

“We’re now seeing the transition we’ve been expecting,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

“After five years, eBooks is a multi-billion-dollar category for us and growing fast – up approximately 70 per cent last year."

"In contrast, our physical book sales experienced the lowest December growth rate in our 17 years as a bookseller, up just 5 per cent. We’re excited and very grateful to our customers for their response to Kindle and our ever-expanding ecosystem and selection.”

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