December 10, 2004, 12:00 AM

Retail chains are shining online this holiday season, comScore reports

Consumers have spent 23% more online this holiday season vs. last year, comScore Networks reports, with spending reaching $8.41 billion from Nov. 1 through Dec. 5. Sales at major retail chains’ web sites` are growing twice as fast as the market.

Consumers have spent 23% more online this holiday shopping season vs. last year, comScore Networks Inc. reports, with spending reaching $8.41 billion from Nov. 1 through Dec. 5 this year vs. $6.85 billion a year ago.

ComScore conducted a separate analysis of spending at 25 major retail chains’ web sites for the week ending Dec. 5. Sales at those sites were up more than 50% over the same week a year ago, more than twice the market growth.

Traffic at 15 chains` sites that comScore analyzed was up an average of 39%. The 15 sites with their growth and number of visitors this year and last according to comScore were:

Staples.com, up 70% to 2.17 million from 1.28 million
Walmart.com, up 65% to 11.5 million from 7 million
Lowes.com, up 59% to 1.48 million from 935,000
HomeDepot.com, up 50% to 2.38 million from 1.6 million
CircuitCity.com, up 49% to 3.6 million from 2.4 million
BestBuy.com, up 46% to 5.2 million from 4 million
Target, up 46% to 7.5 million from 5.1 million
Gap Online, up 44% to 1.57 million from 1.09 million
JCPenney.com sites, up 43% to 4.65 million from 3.25 million
Otto Gruppe, up 32% to 2.58 million from 1.96 million
Sears.com, up 34% to 4.2 million from 3.1 million
Kohl`s, up 27% to 1.99 million from 1.55 million
Costco.com, up 21% to 1.29 million from 1.07 million
Toys R Us, up 20% to 4.1 million from 3.4 million
Kmart.com, up 5% to 1.98 million from 1.89 million.

ComScore also reported traffic growth at select pure-plays:
Amazon.com, up 10.4% to 19.9 million from 18 million
Overstock.com, up 66% to 6.3 million from 3.8 million
Buy.com, down 40% to 1.3 million from 2.2 million
Zappos.com, up 137% to 1.2 million from 490,000
1-800-Flowers, up 45% to 857,000 from 589,000
Drugstore.com, up 79% to 1.7 million from 970,000

"In general mult-channel retailers have really gotten their act together online in the past year," says a comScore spokesman. "Site redesigns, more consistent multi-channel promotion, improved use of search marketing by multi-channel retailers and order-online-pick-up-in-the-store have been a big part of their growth."

Online sales last year peaked on Dec. 9 with $428 million. ComScore anticipates the peak occurring about the same time this year at $500 million.

Sales during the week ending Dec. 5 totaled $2.26 billion up 19% from $1.9 billion last year, comScore says.

 

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