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Amazon delivered billions of items during 'record-breaking' holiday season

The online retail giant says it was also the "best ever" holiday season for independent sellers on Amazon.

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Amazon is taking a look back at some of its highlights from 2020, a year when it saw huge profits amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a blog post on Monday, the online retail giant said it had a "record-breaking holiday season" with its "biggest-ever customer savings, small business growth, and community giving." 

Amazon said it delivered billions of items during the holiday season, including more than 1.5 billion toys, home products, electronics, and beauty and personal care products. The retailer also said small and medium-sized businesses in the US sold nearly 1 billion products via Amazon, adding that third-party businesses on Amazon saw worldwide sales grow 50% over the holiday season compared with 2019.

In addition, Amazon touted its efforts to keep deliveries flowing during the pandemic, saying it "invested more than $10 billion to help keep employees safe and deliver products to customers." The company said it made onsite COVID-19 testing available for many employees in the US, noting that an Amazon worker is tested for coronavirus every 10 seconds.

Monday's blog post paints a rosy picture, but the company also has faced criticism from some warehouse workers over working conditions and lack of protections during the pandemic. In October, Amazon revealed that nearly 20,000 US employees had contracted COVID-19. The company said it would pay $500 million in bonuses to workers most exposed to the pandemic.