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Online Jewelry & Watch Sales -4% for First 12 Days of Dec.

Dec 15, 2008 6:27 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Online sales of jewelry and watches fell 4 percent in the U.S. in the first 12 days of December, Internet retail monitor comScore reported. The category remained one of the weaker online product performers for the period, but it has shown some signs of improvement. Jewelry sales in the first week of December had fallen 22 percent compared with the same period in 2007.

Total online retail sales grew 3 percent during the 12-day period, to $8.258 billion, but were down 1 percent for the past week. “After a very strong first week of December, e-commerce sales growth slowed somewhat during the most recent week,” said Gian Fulgoni, comScore's chairman. Total online sales for the holiday season, measured from November 1, are now flat compared with 2007, at $19.438 billion.

The leading growth categories in December to date were apparel and accessories, which climbed 21 percent, books and magazines, with an 18 percent increase, and flowers, greeting cards and gifts, also up 18 percent. Along with jewelry and watches, sales of event tickets and home and garden supplies and furniture fell by single-digit percentages. Music, movies and video sales were down 25 percent, and office supplies declined 33 percent. ComScore did not provide total sales figures for individual categories.

Fulgoni noted that, despite the soft week, the strongest spending day of the season was recorded on Tuesday, December 9, when online sales totaled $887 million. He said that online retailers will continue to offer enticing last-minute deals to spur a final wave of spending as Christmas approaches. “Some are even willing to offer free shipping as late as December 18 this year, with a guarantee that the shipment will arrive by Christmas Eve,” he added.

Tags: Jewelry
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