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Monday, November 27, 2006

Survey: Holiday Spending Grows This Year

During the first 24 days of November this year, total online retail spending reached $8.31 billion, marking a23- percent increase versus the corresponding days in 2005. Black Friday, known for being one of the busier offline consumer shopping days of theyear, saw particularly high online sales with $434 million spent, up 42 percent versus last year.

That's according to measurements by comScore Networks.

"Consistent with news reports of heavy traffic to leading retailers' Web sites-which in the case of resulted in an outage at thesite -- comScore found high levels of online retail spending on Black Fridaythis year," says Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. "With 42 percent growth versus the same day last year, it's clear that many consumers opted for the convenience and sanity of shopping from home inorder to avoid mayhem at the malls and to take advantage of the extremely attractive deals being offered online. This growth figure is especiallyencouraging for online retailers when taking into account that much of thecountry saw beautiful weather on Friday. Online retailers are undoubtedlycrossing their fingers that strong Black Friday spending is an indication that Cyber Monday is really going to kick off the post-Thanksgiving online holiday shopping season with a bang."

An analysis of traffic to online comparison shopping sites revealed a distinct surge in visits on Black Friday, as consumers began their traditional hunt for holiday bargains. Visits to the leading shopping engines collectively rose 21 percent on Black Friday, versus the average number of daily visits during November., however, saw a triple digit increase in visits on Black Friday and during the preceding three days, as consumers took advantage of the site's ability to help thempinpoint bargains available at local offline retailers.

"Clearly consumers are increasing their use of online resources todrive their offline shopping," Fulgoni says. "On Black Friday,when many consumers were drawing up their 'battle plans' for finding in-store bargains, it appears that the savviest among them had already usedthe Internet to price items for purchase at local stores offline. We expect this trend to continue during the holiday season."


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