shopping of to fast start
The Borneo Post - Friday, 29 November, 2002
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US holiday shopping on the Internet is off to a fast start this year, amid
projections of a blockbuster season for the Web despite a lackluster trend
for overall retail sales.
survey by the research firm comScore found that online consumer sales for
the week ending November 22 hit 1.6 billion dollars, up 53 percent from
the same period a year ago.
found that weekly spending on goods and services excluding travel
increased to 988 million dollars, an increase of 36 percent versus the
same week last year.
shopping on the Web already moved into full swing ahead of the traditional
retail season starting the Friday after Thanksgiving which because of a
calendar quirk, shortens the shopping season to Christmas by six days.
to comScore, online sales of books rose 31 percent from a year ago, and
other categories were higher with the exception of computer sales.
online sales continue to be strong, but the softness we're reporting in
sales of computer hardware is consistent with overall expectations of the
tech sector," said Michelle David Adams, comScore Networks vice
week's online sales growth was influenced by the timing of Thanksgiving
2001 and other events which softened the year-ago period. But even with
this effect, comScore data are reporting solid gains as the holiday season
survey also found that online travel sales totaled 626 million dollars, 92
percent greater than the same week last year, when travel was depressed in
the wake of the September 11 attacks.
analysts are projecting strong growth in holiday Internet sales even
though overall retail sales are projected to be up just a few percentage
analysts are projecting online holiday sales of 12.9 billion to 17.5
billion dollars, according to the market research firm eMarketer, which
adjusted various projections for the different periods covered. Growth is
projected at between 14.5 percent and 35.6 percent for the period.
own projections are somewhat cautious, suggesting growth of 16 percent.
"This year, the US economy continues to show signs of weakness,"
confidence has dipped lower, unemployment remains high and stock prices
are volatile. But it is still possible for online retailers to have a
holiday spending is the bright spot in an otherwise dark picture,"
says Nevin Cohen, analyst at eMarketer. "When overall retail sales
are expected to grow only three or four percent over last year's holiday
shopping numbers, maintaining double-digit growth is great news."
government figures show Internet sales are on a strong growth track this
Commerce Department reported this month that US Internet retail sales
surged 34.3 percent in the third quarter from the same period a year ago
to 11.06 billion dollars.
sales still represent a small fraction of overall retail sales, but the
percentage is growing: ecommerce accounted for 1. 3 percent of total
sales in the third quarter, up from 1.1 percent a year earlier.