Amazon UK reports record Christmas

This year, UK shoppers forgot worries about Internet fraud and rampant rogues and went online in record-breaking numbers

With up to half a million items delivered worldwide every day through the peak period, Amazon is claiming a record-breaking Christmas for sales in the UK. said on Wednesday it delivered up to 256 tonnes of goods on the busiest days of the Christmas period. The peak fell on 12 December when close to half a million items were delivered, with a Royal Mail truck leaving an Amazon depot every 12 minutes.

Worldwide, Amazon customers ordered up to 3.6 million items daily, or the equivalent to 41 items every second. More than 108 million orders were placed globally during the whole of the holiday season.

In its traditional bookselling business, Amazon's UK arm said its most popular title was the New Scientist book, Does Anything Eat Wasps And 101 Other Questions, which sold more than twice the number of copies sold by last year’s bestseller. Other top titles in the UK included Is It Just Me Or Is Everything Shit? by Alan McArthur and one for those tired of turkey, Jamie’s Italy.

Unsurprisingly, digital music players led the way in electronics sales. Their popularity was also shown by the lines of queues at Apple's UK stores. 

According to Hitwise, the Web analysis agency, download sites such as Apple's iTunes Music Store saw a 50 per cent rise in traffic between 24 and 25 December, 15 per cent higher than last Christmas, thanks to new iPod owners.

Weekly downloads now exceed 650,000 and may pass the one million mark for the first time this Christmas.

Retailer Comet reported a 294 percent surge in online traffic while Currys saw an increase of 279 per cent on Christmas Day, as eager shoppers checked out the winter sales prices.