Amazon to reap £7,500 a second in online boom

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Anger grows over fraud helpline: Amazon to reap £7,500 a second in online boom

Amazon will this week report sales of more than £7,500 per second in the first three months of this year as the virus crisis turbocharges online shopping. 

Analysts are predicting it will unveil first-quarter sales of around £59 billion on Thursday, 22 per cent more than a year ago, generating profits of £2.6 billion. 

Amazon is emerging as one of the major winners from the coronavirus pandemic, as families stuck indoors head online to order even more goods. 

Cashing in: Analysts are predicting Amazon will unveil first-quarter sales of around £59 billion

The boost has helped its share prices to surge by more than a fifth since the lockdown came into force. 

Experts say the dramatic change in consumer behaviour has gifted Amazon an ‘unprecedented demand shift’, pushing sales up to as much as £9,000 per second post-lockdown. 

Sales are so strong that the firm has taken on an extra 175,000 workers to help it cope, with warehouse staff in some countries including the UK also given pay rises to encourage them to work extra shifts. 

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s billionaire founder, whose stake is now worth £146 billion, is said to have returned to frontline management to steer the company through the pandemic. 

The figures due to be released by Amazon this week – covering the three months to March 31 – will capture just the first fortnight of the sales surge. 

Analysts are on average predicting Amazon will notch up another £62.4 billion in sales for the three months to the end of June, according to Reuters data. 

But Goldman Sachs believes the company will smash Wall Street’s predictions for both the first and second quarters as the market is underestimating just how dominant Amazon now is. 

The retailer was criticised this week after the giant was accused of abandoning fraud victims by closing a crucial fraud helpline. 

Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge said: ‘Digital giants like Amazon need to stop ignoring their loyal customers and start taking seriously their responsibility to tackle online fraud.’ 

Amazon’s booming business stands in stark contrast to the fortunes of high street shops, which are suffering what some analysts have dubbed the ‘retail Armageddon’.

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