March 11, 2008, 12:00 AM

Bargain-hunters drive ShopLocal online circular index up 31% in February

Consumers seeking bargains, especially on flat-screen TVs and other electronic products, are behind the February surge, ShopLocal says. The index measures visits and page views to online sales circulars.

Consumers went bargain-hunting online in February, driving the ShopLocal index of visits and page views to retailers’ web-based sales circulars up 31% over February 2007.

The consumer electronics and office supplies category registered a 32% year-over-year increase in February, up from a disappointing 17% in January, and consumer electronics categories held the top five spots in promotional activity, led by flat-screen, high-definition TVs. As evidence of consumer price sensitivity, ShopLocal points to bargain TV brand Olevia ranking number one in promotional interest over the past four months, outpacing traditional category leaders like Sony and Samsung.

“The resilient U.S. consumer is still shopping, but they are looking for deals and spending pragmatically,” says Vikram Sharma, ShopLocal CEO.

ShopLocal registered 238 million page views and 20 million visits to the online circulars it hosts for the web sites of 50 retailers, including JCPenney, Best Buy, Walgreens and Home Depot. That puts the index at 179, compared with a benchmark of 100 in January 2006.

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