Amazon Sales Soar in North America

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Amazon’s electronic goods and merchandise sales in North America for Q1 2011 totaled $3.3 billion, a 63% increase over the same period last year. (Photo: Pierre Amerlynck)
Amazon’s electronic goods and merchandise sales in North America for Q1 2011 totaled $3.3 billion, a 63% increase over the same period last year. (Photo: Pierre Amerlynck)

FINANCE

  • Q1 sales for Amazon’s North American sites increased nearly 45% to $5.47 billion
  • Amazon international site sales top $4.39 billion
  • However, global net income fell to $201 million in Q1, down 33% on last year

The world’s largest online retailer Amazon.com announced that sales from its North American sites jumped nearly 45% to $5.47 billion in the first quarter of 2011, with global sales totaling $9.86 billion.

The US and Canada saw the strongest growth of all Amazon sites, with electronic goods and merchandise sales totaling $3.3 billion, a 63% increase compared to the same period last year. Media sales, particularly books and DVDs, increased by 18% to $1.89 billion.

International sites in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, China and Japan generated $4.39 billion in sales in Q1, a 31% improvement on 2010.

Amazon predicted revenue would grow at a rate of 35% to 45% in the second quarter of 2011, but global net income for Q1 dropped to $201 million, 33% less than last year.

13 New Distribution Centers

The fall in net income was partly due to $23 million in share-based employee payments and the construction of an additional 13 distribution centers around the world, according to Chief Financial Officer Thomas Szkutak.

Amazon also spent 63% more on marketing compared to last year, with a total price tag of $327 million. Investment in order fulfillment and new technologies also increased by 57% and 58% respectively.

Key Players - US Online Retail Leaders

  • Amazon.com
  • Apple.com
  • Walmart.com
  • Sears.com
  • CDW.com
  • BestBuy.com
  • Newegg.com
  • Sony.com
  • Costco.com
  • JCPenney.com

Key Statistics - US Online Retail Market (source: yStats)

  • E-commerce revenue in the US is expected to top $170 billion in 2011.
  • Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the US with $24 billion in revenue for 2009.
  • In 2010, 58% of online shoppers were female, of whom 70% made most purchases in the apparel and jewelry category.

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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