January 24, 2003, 12:00 AM

Hot growth rate of online sales cools in new year, comScore reports

Online sales last week grew 7.6% from a year ago. For the first time in a long time, offline sales grew at a higher rate than online, up 8%, reports ShopperTrak.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

The hot pace of year-over-year increases that online retail sales experienced last year cooled off as the new year began, reports comScore Networks Inc.’s Media Metrix division. Online sales last week reached $857 million, up 7.6% from a year ago. For the first time in a long time, offline sales grew at a higher rate than online, up 8% for the same week vs. a year ago, according to ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate.

Online travel sales were up 13.2% to $649 million, comScore Media Metrix reports.

Meanwhile, a special four-hour sale at Buy.com drew 600,000 shop-at-work customers to the site during the week, up 54% from 387,000 the week before, reports Nielsen/NetRatings. 36% of the shoppers--216,000--came on Thursday, the day of the sale.

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