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Amazon Snags Half of All Black Friday Sales

Digital dominated the Black Friday shopping craze this season, and according to early assessments, Amazon was the clear winner when it comes to share of that spend. In fact, Amazon commanded half of it.

According to a GBH Insights note released Friday, the e-tailer’s performance was even “stronger than expected.”

“Amazon had an ‘eye-popping’ Black Friday sales performance as we estimate Amazon comprised between 45 percent to 50 percent of all e-commerce sales thus far,” the report noted. “With e-commerce Black Friday sales on a trajectory to increase roughly 18 percent year over year, these are very positive data points heading into Cyber Monday and the rest of the holiday season for Amazon (and its investors).”

[Read more about Black Friday: Black Friday Foot Traffic Dims Slightly, but Online Sales Set All-Time High]

Helping Amazon’s sales success along will be its Prime members, who are expected to spend 20 percent to 25 percent more than they did last year. That, coupled with growth in both its U.S. and international Prime members, according to GBH, should set Amazon up for a “game changer holiday season.”

“With our estimates forecasting overall e-commerce growth rising 20 percent year over year for holiday season and Amazon set to comprise roughly half of U.S. e-commerce holiday sales this year, it appears Amazon has significant momentum heading into year-end and could beat the Street’s 4Q top-line estimate by 5 percent if these projections prove out,” GBH said.

Amazon’s shares are up nearly 2 percent to $1,203.63 Monday, and had been climbing in recent days in anticipation of the company’s Black Friday performance. The holiday shopping season also appears to have tipped Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth over the $100 billion mark, jumping $2.4 billion to get there.

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However, while Bezos is becoming the world’s newest $100 billionaire, Amazon employees are striking over poor pay.

Timed to hit Amazon where it would hurt, staff at half a dozen of the e-commerce behemoth’s distribution centers in Germany and one in Italy walked off the job on Black Friday, seeking better wages, the Associated Press reported. At one of the facilities in Germany, as many as 2,500 workers were on strike.

German workers’ union Ver.di said Amazon employees earn lower wages than their counterparts in other retail and mail-order jobs, but Amazon said its distribution center workers earn relatively high wages for that industry, and that it’s a “fair and responsible employer.”

“The strikes will not affect us keeping our word to our customers, as the overwhelming majority of our workers are continuing their normal work,” Amazon told the Associated Press.