opinion

Online Holiday Spending Up 19 Percent

Joe D

As we listen to the pundits on the incessant 24 hour television news cycles - some lamenting - some enthusing about the just-ended holiday spending frenzy which has further substantiated the consumption sickness pervading the American psyche. Whatever your beliefs about our current culture, here we focus on online e-commerce, and comScore.com is a global leader in measuring the digital world using a massive global cross-section of more than 2 Million consumers. They claim that from November 1st through December 27th online retail sales neared $28 Billion, a 19-percent gain versus the same days in 2006.

______________________________________________________________ Billions

"Even as the holiday shopping season winds down after Christmas, we continue to see some relatively strong online spending days," said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. "For example, the day after Christmas saw online sales of $545 million, more than double the sales on the same day last year. This would appear to indicate that consumers were willing, and able, to take advantage of the attractive late-season promotions and price discounts offered by retailers this year."

Online Spending Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Grew 21 Percent vs. 2006

Another means of gauging the strength of online holiday spending is to examine the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which represents the core of the holiday shopping season. This year, there were 32-days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, compared to 31-days last year. During this period in 2007, online sales grew by 21 percent versus year ago, a full 2 percentage points higher than the overall holiday season-to-date growth rate.

Sales Increase ______________________________________________________________

"Warm weather during the early part of November took its toll on online retail sales, and played a role in holding down the growth in spending over the entire holiday season to a 19-percent rate, which is below last year's level of 26 percent," added Mr. Fulgoni. "However, if we look at the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we see online spending growing at a healthier 21-percent rate, which I think is encouraging given the economic challenges facing consumers this year as a result of higher gas prices, lower home values and a jittery stock market."

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