Amazon, the online shopping retailer, has said that it is facing being forced to make staff at its distribution centers redundant, as online sales for Christmas have fallen way below expected targets.
Sales of goods are 28% down on those in the first half of December last year, as customers 'tighten their belts' in preparation for a long, hard and cold winter.
A bumper pre-Christmas period had been forecast, and hopes were bolstered when several major high-street chains closed their doors for the last time in the autumn.
A spokesman said that, if sales did not improve substantially in the post-Christmas and New Year period, the organization would be obliged to consider offloading "a couple of cleaners somewhere".
Amazon is based in Brazil, or, as it is known locally, Brasil.