May 12, 2003, 12:00 AM

The comeback of online retail spending continues

Online retail spending reached $923 million for the week that ended May 4, up 26% from the corresponding week a year ago, comScore reports. Consumers also turned to the web for Mothers Day gifts.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

The comeback in online retail spending is continuing, with revenue reaching $923 million for the week that ended May 4, up 26% from $731 million in the corresponding week a year ago, comScore Networks Inc. reports. Travel spending hit $847 million for the week, up 31% from $646 million the same week last year.

By contrast, total retail sales, which grew faster than online sales for several weeks in April, declined 1.7% for the week that ended May 3 compared to the same week a year ago, reports ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate. For all of April, retail sales were up 7.4% vs. April last year, which ShopperTrak attributes to the later occurrence of Easter this year compared to last year.

Purchases at flowers and gift sites were up 56% for the same week vs. a year ago to $35.7 million this year, and 125% at home and garden sites to $50.3 million this year, comScore reports, as shoppers turned to the web for Mothers Day gifts.

ComScore also reported 28.7 million unique visitors to flowers, gifts and greeting cards sites, with the following sites as leaders:
AmericanGreetings properties: 15.799 million
Hallmark: 6.431 million
OrientalTrading.com: 1.164 million
1-800-Flower.com: 1.15 million
Martha Stewart sites: 1 million
WeddingChannel.com: 902,000
RedEnvelope.com: 858,000
FTD.com: 542,000
Proflowers.com: 502,000

Among jewelry, luxury goods and accessories retailers, comScore reports 8.448 million unique visitors. Leading sites were:
Jewelry.com: 1.832 million
eBags.com: 1.206 million
JewelClaimCenter.com: 935,000
RedEnvelope.com: 858,000
Coach.com: 515,000
Tiffany.com: 452,000
Fossil.com: 336,000
Ice.com: 331,000
StyleRave.com: 289,000
BlueNile.com: 256,000

One gift site that can attest to the power of Mothers Day sales is DelightfulDeliveries.com. The small retailer experienced a threefold increase in Mothers Day sales this year vs. last year, from $43,400 last year to $119,500 this year. The most popular items: Chocolate-dipped strawberries.

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