Amazon Prime Day beats Black Friday says retailer

Amazon Prime Day may have been an excuse for the retail behemoth to clear its warehouse shelves ahead of the holidays, but it clearly struck a chord. Dropping a mid-event update, Amazon claims its peak order rates have already surpassed those experienced on Black Friday last year, as shoppers leapt on deals ranging from the company's own Echo voice-controlled assistant through to cut-price compression shorts.

According to Greg Greely, Vice President of Amazon Prime, the company sold "tens of thousands" of its Fire TV Sticks, reduced to $24, along 35,000 copies of the Lord of the Rings Blu-Ray set.

4,000 of Amazon's Echo speaker were bought before the deal expired.

Some of Amazon's most popular deals went in a matter of seconds, Greeley claims. A Kate Spade purse, for instance, sold out in under a minute, while 1,200 Samsung 4K TVs, reduced to $999 apiece, were snapped up in under ten minutes.

Even some of the more unlikely products, like a Rubbermaid set of plastic kitchen food storage boxes, have been popular. Amazon says 28,000 of the sets have been bought today alone.

While there has been broad criticism – including from ourselves – about the promotion, it's undoubtedly been a success for Amazon. Not only has the company cleared out plenty of older products, but likely signed up many new customers to Amazon Prime, its $99-per-year subscription plan.