KEY POINTS

  • Amazon delivered 1.5 billion items worldwide during the holidays
  • The company expects to hit its first $100 billion-plus quarter this year
  • Amazon has reported a 50% year-over-year increase in its third-party sales

Amazon on Monday announced it delivered over 1.5 billion items globally this Christmas season as it ends its record-setting fourth fiscal quarter amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

In a blog post, the Seattle-based retail giant celebrated its “record-breaking holiday season” with the “biggest-ever customer savings, small business growth, and community giving.” The company delivered a very wide range of items, including toys, home goods, beauty products, clothing and consumer electronics during the holidays

Amazon highlighted that it spent more than $10 billion to ensure the safety of its employees, $2.5 billion in bonuses and incentives for front-line workers, and $500 million on special holiday bonuses. 

“Amazon invested $2.5 billion in front-line employee bonuses and incentives this year, including a recent $500 million special holiday bonus. This is on top of our highly competitive minimum pay of $15 per hour (two times higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25) and great benefits that begin on day one — the same benefits given to our most senior executives,” the blog post read. 

Amazon also said it hired over 400,000 full-time and part-time employees worldwide. Since February, Amazon Delivery Service Partners, a small business program used to bolster the retail company’s logistics network, hired 75,000 new drivers. 

The company previously established a $25 million relief fund that allows delivery service partners, their drivers, and seasonal employees to apply for grants amounting to as much as  two weeks of pay if they test positive for coronavirus. 

“The health and safety of our employees and contractors around the world continues to be our top priority as we face the challenges associated with COVID-19,” Beth Galetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of human resources, said. 

Amazon, which is set to release its fourth-quarter financial reports in January, had a 37% spike in sales in the third quarter of 2020 -- up to $96.2 billion. The company expects to hit record-breaking revenue in the last quarter -- up to $121 billion — the first $100 billion-plus quarter for the company. 

The e-commerce colossus previously reported a 50% year-over-year increase in its third-party sales. Amazon also “absorbed” more than $5 billion in operational costs on behalf of independent sellers.  Amazon, which faces a unionization drive at its warehouse in Alabama, claims a majority its employees at the facility are satisfied with working conditions Amazon, which faces a unionization drive at its warehouse in Alabama, claims a majority its employees at the facility are satisfied with working conditions Photo: AFP / INA FASSBENDER