Online Holiday Shopping Tally Down Slightly From Forecast

Online shopping for the 2007 holiday season totaled $29.2 billion, up 19% versus the same period in 2006, according to comScore, Inc., off slightly from the originally forecast 20% bump.

Monday, Dec. 10, dubbed by comScore as "Green Monday," was the heaviest online spending day of the season with $881 million spent by shopper, followed by Tuesday, Dec. 11 ($819 million) and Thursday, Dec. 6 ($803 million). "Cyber Monday" (Monday, Nov. 26), which represents the first major spike in online spending activity during the season, ranked as the 9th heaviest day with $733 million.

The week ending Dec. 16 was heaviest week of the season with $4.7 billion in spending, according to Reston, Va.-based comScore, edging out the week ending Dec. 9, which saw $4.6 billion. The week ending Nov. 18 showed the strongest growth rate (26%) versus the corresponding week in 2006, while the week ending Nov. 4 showed the softest growth (4%).

The results include home, work and university locations, but exclude auctions and large corporate purchases.



"Ultimately, the softness in the growth of online retail sales during the first 10 days of November proved difficult to overcome and prevented the season's growth rate from reaching our forecast of 20%," said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. However, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas -- another measure of the strength of the holiday season -- experienced a healthier 21% bump.

In terms of category sales, video games, consoles & accessories was the fastest growing, jumping 129% versus the 2006 holiday season, with popular consoles like Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation and games like Halo 3 driving strong sales in the category. Furniture, appliances & equipment (up 67%), event tickets (up 24%) and consumer electronics (up 23%) also experienced above average growth, according to comScore.

After seeing substantial softness early in the season, online apparel sales picked up considerably in the latter part of the season, finishing up 18%. Meanwhile, sales of jewelry & watches declined marginally versus year ago as rising costs in precious metals like gold and platinum may have dampened consumer demand.

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