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Amazon’s stock rises as Woolworths’ plummets.

Internet retailer Amazon has cheered Wall Street by reporting the busiest Christmas in its 10-year history, while Woolworths' shares have fallen after an unusually flat season.

As the international High Street giant struggled to shift toys and DVD’s over the festive period Amazon were logging orders for 32 items per second worldwide.

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

Shortly before New Year Amazon's shares shot up by almost 9%, in contrast to, Woolworths’ whose fortunes were down 8% on the market this morning.

This Christmas is thought to have been more generally a strong one for online retailers. Online sales over November and December, 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.

The High Street looks much less rosy with retailers such as Woolworths expecting their pre-tax profit for the full year to rise little above last year's £66.7m figure. A naturally disappointing reality after City analysts had been forecasting a more inflated profit of £78m.

Woolworths is one of the first major players to comment on its High Street sales performance. However, it’s not expected to be the only big name to have had a less than Merry Christmas. Rhys Williams, a retail analyst at Seymour Pierce, told Reuters he believed other market leaders such as Marks & Spencer and Matalan may have found the going tough over the crucial pre-Christmas period too.

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