ONLINE retailer Amazon has defied the economic slump to post a 33% rise in sales at its UK and international arm in the three months to September.
The addition of new ranges, such as Amazon UK’s lighting store and shoe and handbag website javari.co.uk, contributed to the improved revenues performance of 2.6 billion US dollars (£1.57 billion).
UK managing director Brian McBride said the recession appeared to be working in the retailer’s favour as cash-wary shoppers trawl the internet for purchases.
He said: "People are being careful with their money, so for example they are buying home gym equipment from us rather than joining a gym club. The economy is helping us at the moment."
The sales growth in the international division outstripped the performance for the wider Amazon business, which grew revenues by 28% to 5.45 billion US dollars (£3.28 billion) in the quarter. Net profits were 62% higher at 199 million US dollars (£119.9 million), although no figure was given for the overseas arm.
The Kindle electronic reader was the best selling item on Amazon.com by both unit sales and in dollar terms. Amazon recently made the eReader available to UK customers for the first time.
Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol was the biggest selling item on Amazon.co.uk in the quarter, followed by Microsoft Windows 7 which sold more copies in the first eight hours than Windows Vista in its entire pre-order period.
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson made up the list of top five bestsellers in the quarter.
Mr McBride adding that potential disruption from the Royal Mail strike had been limited by the firm’s use of several different carriers. Additional staff have been recruited at distribution centres in order to speed up orders.