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Online Holiday Retail Sales -1%; Jewelry & Watches -17% in Dec.

Dec 22, 2008 4:52 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Online retail sales fell 1 percent to $24.029 billion in the period between November 1 -- the start of the holiday shopping season -- and this past Friday, December 19, online research company comScore found. The company reported that sales so far in December rose 1 percent to $12.849 billion compared with the first 19 days of the month in 2007, as consumers this year delayed spending.

“With five fewer days of holiday shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, there is increasing pressure on consumers to make their holiday purchases in time for Christmas,” said Gian Fulgoni, comScore's chairman. “As a result, we’ve seen online shoppers continue to spend heavily even later into the season, with the most recent week including four of the top 10 spending days of the season.”

ComScore reported that online sales of jewelry and watches dropped 17 percent in December, making it the third-worst performer among the tracked categories -- ahead of office supplies, which declined 19 percent, and music, movies and videos, down 24 percent. The categories with the highest growth were sports and fitness, with an increase of 31 percent, books and magazines, up 18 percent, and video games, consoles and accessories, climbing 17 percent. comScore did not provide total sales data for individual categories. 

The average spending per day from December 1 through 19 grew 5 percent to $643, the research showed. ComScore noted, however, that one of the main challenges facing retailers this season was their inability to generate enough of an increase in sales to make up for the shorter holiday shopping season.

Tags: Consumers, Jewelry
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