December 23, 2004, 12:00 AM

Online retail sales blast off, up 57% last week vs. year ago

E-sales took off like a rocket for the week ending last Sunday (Dec. 19), reaching $2.45 billion, up 57% from the corresponding week a year ago, when sales were $1.56 billion, comScore reports. Total retail sales fell 5.9%, ShopperTrak reports.

 

Online retail sales last week showed no signs of diminishing as Christmas approached. E-sales took off like a rocket for the week ending last Sunday (Dec. 19), reaching $2.45 billion, up 57% from the corresponding week a year ago, when sales were $1.56 billion, reports comScore Networks Inc.

By contrast, total retail sales for the week ending last Saturday (Dec. 18) were down 5.9% compared to the same week a year ago, reports ShopperTrak RCT Corp.`s National Retail Sales Estimate.

Last weekend’s Saturday and Sunday sales, usually the strongest shopping time of the year, fell 3.3% compared to the same weekend last year. ShopperTrak reports that while the Saturday before Christmas has typically been the largest shopping day of the holiday season, preliminary reports show that the Friday after Thanksgiving may have been stronger this year, as it was in 2003. Before last year, the Saturday before Christmas was the most popular shopping day of the season for three consecutive years.

Online sales have stayed strong so late in the season due to operational improvements that have allowed retailers to offer free or discounted shipping later in the season and because of the wider offering of ordering online and picking up in the store, comScore says.

ComScore reports that consumers spent $13.5 billion online between Nov. 1 and Dec. 19, 28% more than last year, up 27.7% from $10.6 billion a year ago..

Year-to-date online sales have reached $64.2 billion, up 26% from $49.4 billion last year.

Consumers have spent more than $400 million a day on 10 days this year. Until this year, a $400 million day had occurred only once.

 

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