December 1, 2003, 12:00 AM

Online sales grew 36% on Black Friday, 31% for entire week

Early numbers show that online retail sales grew significantly last Friday, up 36% to $200 million for the day from $145 million on the day after Thanksgiving last year, according to comScore Networks Inc.’s Media Metrix division.

 

Not all eager holiday shoppers were lined up outside KB Toys and other early-opening stores at 5 a.m. last Friday. Many were shopping online.

Early numbers show that online retail sales grew significantly last Friday, up 36% to $200 million for the day from $145 million on the day after Thanksgiving last year, according to comScore Networks Inc.’s Media Metrix division. Online retail sales for the entire week were up 31% to $1.2 billion from $895 billion for the same week last year. The numbers are preliminary, comScore says, subject to possible revision.

Similarly, the Nielsen/NetRatings Holiday eCommerce Index reports that 28% more visitors went to online retail sites on Friday than the previous Friday, Nov. 21, and 19% more at-home visitors shopped online than the average over the previous four days.

However, the efforts of a few retailers to generate some Thanksgiving Day shopping buzz failed to have an impact on online retailing as a whole. Online shopping on Thanksgiving Day totaled $106 million, according to preliminary comScore numbers, 12% up from Thanksgiving Day in 2002. Activity that day reached only 50% of the average sales for the rest of the week.

In total retail shopping, sales on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving were up 5.4% from the same days last year, reports ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate.

The strongest online sales categories were Computer Software, Movies & Video, Music, and Video Games, which posted growth of 50-100% versus year-ago levels. Home & Garden, which has been performing well above average for much of this year, was up more than 60% last week. Sales at Apparel & Accessories, Consumer Electronics, and Toys retailers increased within a few percentage points of the online retail average, comScore reports.

ComScore expects online retail spending in November and December to grow 25-30% over last year to $12.1billion to $12.6 billion

Meantime, shopping portal and price comparison site MSN Shopping, owned by Microsoft Corp., reports traffic and spending at MSN Shopping were up 50% in November compared to November last year. Participating merchants increased by 30%, reports MSN Shopping, and traffic for the whole year is up 20%.

 

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