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Holiday E-commerce Sales Top Chain Stores

9 Jan, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

RESTON, Va. – So who won between online retailers and chain stores during the 2012 holiday shopping season? It wasn’t close: U.S. consumers spent $42.3 billion online in November and December, a 13.7-percent increase over the $37.2 billion spent during the holiday shopping season in 2011, reports comScore Inc., the digital analytics firm.

Sales at U.S. chain stores, not including drug stores, increased just 3.1 percent year-over-year in the same period, according to ICSC, a trade organization for shopping centers. Despite the win for online, the those sales still fell short of comScore’s initial prediction that online holiday spending would reach $43.4 billion, comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni told Internet Retailer.

“This year’s growth rate is essentially on a par with last year’s,” he says. “While November started out at a very healthy 16-percent growth rate through the promotional period of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers almost immediately pulled back on spending, apparently due to concerns over the looming fiscal cliff and what that might mean for their household budgets in 2013. With Congress deadlocked throughout December, growth rates softened even further and never quite made up enough ground to reach our original expectation.”

For the report, comScore measured spending between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. Overall, the holidays generated 12 days of online spending greater than $1 billion – up from 10 days last year, comScore says. The top 10 heaviest online spending days in 2012 all fell in the holiday season, it reports, led by a record-setting Cyber Monday, which fell on Nov. 26 this year and generated $1.465 billion. That was an increase of 17 percent from $1.251 billion last year.


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