2020 has been one of the most successful years for sellers in Amazon’s store, even with the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. From April 15, 2020, to January 15, 2021, independent third-party sellers—almost all small and medium-size businesses—increased their Amazon sales globally by more than 55% year over year. And we are working hard and investing heavily to help you continue this success.
In 2020, we increased square footage across our fulfillment and logistics network by 50%, opening dozens of new delivery stations and fulfillment centers around the world. We built more than 250 tools and services globally to help you manage and grow your business, and improved Seller University courses to guide you on how to use all of these new tools and services effectively. We also recognized the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has created for small businesses, and as announced on December 22, 2020, we made the decision to postpone our annual fee adjustments until June 2021 to provide stability and support through what we expected would continue to be a challenging period.
While many other companies passed along costs through surcharges and fee changes in 2020, we absorbed over $5 billion in COVID-related costs on your behalf, and are absorbing billions more globally in the first half of 2021. To further benefit our sellers, we also implemented reductions to certain fees and expanded promotions in 2021. In addition, we enhanced benefits for the FBA New Selection program and launched the fulfillment of heavy and bulky selection on FBA.
Starting June 8, 2021, some of our fees will be adjusted in our Amazon Europe stores. Most referral fees will not change and we are making only moderate increases to fulfillment fees. Review the Seller Central links below to learn about the complete list of fee changes for 2021.