Amazon.com announced yesterday that it set a sales record during the 2004 holiday sales period by selling more than 2.8 million items in a single day--an average of 32 items per second. Although the company didn't disclose which day the sales record occurred, it did note that more than 700,000 people were logged on to the site during that day. 
  
2004 was the busiest holiday period in Amazon.com's 10-year history. "We are extremely grateful to our customers," founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said. "On behalf of Amazon.com employees around the globe, we wish everyone happy holidays and best wishes for the coming year." 
  
Amazon.com also revealed some other interesting statistics about its holiday sales. On the peak day of sales, the company shipped more than 2 million units to customers. Amazon.com shipped packages to 217 countries during the holidays, including more than 100,000 shipments to US military personnel stationed overseas.
  
According to the company, some of the year's hottest sellers included the DVD versions of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which set a single-day sales record on December 14, and the Star Wars trilogy; Halo 2 (Xbox); Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PlayStation 2); The Sims 2 and Half-Life 2 (PC); "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction" by Jon Stewart; U2's latest CD, "How to Dismantle an Atom Bomb"; and Apple Computer's 20GB iPod and 4GB iPod Mini (silver).
  
Other retailers weren't so fortunate. Although final figures aren't in yet, analysts are holding firm to their earlier estimates that retail holiday sales would rise only 3 percent to 4 percent in 2004 when compared with the previous year. However, these figures include only brick-and-mortar retailers and don't include gift card sales.