E-commerce Sales Relatively Strong Over Holidays
Dec 30, 2008
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Amazon.com had its best holiday sales season ever, providing an optimistic report as online sales from November and December were tallied, according to a SpendingPulse report. U.S. online sales over the holiday period showed "relative strength" but were still down and online shopping in the U.K. was markedly off compared to a year ago, according to final SpendingPulse reports of the season.

Overall, though, U.S. e-commerce sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 were down 2.3% compared to 2007, according to SpendingPulse. The group called online sales "an area of relative strength" amid overall holiday retail sales that rank among the worst in recent memory. Even so, this is the first time that online sales have dipped compared to the previous year.

Electronics and appliance sales were down 26% overall compared to a year ago, SpendingPulse found. Only luxury items had a worse showing, dropping more than 34%, according to SpendingPulse figures for both online spending and brick-and-mortar shopping. Retail sales fell 5.5% in November and 8%from Dec. 1 to 24, SpendingPulse found.

In the U.K., where severe weather was not a factor, 28 million online shoppers said they spent £9.4 billion (approx. US$13.7 billion) online during the holiday season, 20% below an Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) forecast in November.

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