Retailers, consumers and prices
Something about returning from the Christmas holidays makes people want to show off what they received – a new sweater donned, a new gadget subtly pulled out at meetings, a few extra pounds padding the belly.
Jeff Bezos doesn't like this tradition. He will hint at the generous present that consumers gave to Amazon in the form of surprisingly strong sales, but he won't offer details.
Bezos wants you to know that his Kindle – the e-book reader that has done a remarkably good job surviving in the age of the iPad – was Amazon's “bestselling product of all time.” How many Kindles did Amazon sell? We don't know because Amazon isn't saying.
What Amazon does say is that the third generation of the Kindle surpassed even the number of Harry Potter 7 books it sold. Which is kind of disingenuous because Kindles are sold primarily through Amazon, while Harry Potter books are available in nearly every bookstore. But it does offer a hint: Some 5 million copies of Harry Potter have sold on Amazon since 2007, one analyst estimates.
Sprinkled among the snaking lines of parents at a Toys R Us in New Jersey on Black Friday were diehard gamers. Many had no children to spoil. Nor were they particularly happy to be in the Toys R Us; but with gaming hardware fast selling out across the region, they followed the scent of the deal.
The Kinect moved especially fast, if early anecdotal evidence is any measure. Brisk sales of hardware like the PlayStation3, Xbox and Microsoft Kinect on the nation's biggest annual shopping spree also bode well for software sales, says Mike Hickey, a Janco Partners analyst.