February 11, 2009, 12:00 AM

With 26% tabulated, Top 500 retailers lifted sales by 21.4% last year

Updated analysis of data for Internet Retailer’s forthcoming 2009 Top 500 Guide reveals that sales for the 131 online retailers reporting actual 2008 sales so far have grown by 21.4%, to $34.22 billion from $28.19 billion in 2007.

Updated analysis of data for Internet Retailer’s forthcoming 2009 Top 500 Guide reveals that sales for the 131 online retailers reporting actual 2008 sales so far have grown by 21.4%, to $34.22 billion from $28.19 billion in 2007.

The report a week ago included 110 web merchants with a combined growth rate of 21.8%. The updated analysis includes 81 web only merchants, 25 catalog companies, 21 chain retailers and four consumer brand manufacturers.

The results of big retailers can skew the growth rate. With sales removed for Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide with $19.14 billion in sales; Costco Wholesale Corp., $1.7 billion; Netflix Inc., $1.36 billion; and Newegg Inc., $2.1 billion; the remaining 127 merchants still grew by 8.8% to $9.89 billion in 2008 from $9.09 billion in the prior year.

Two of the four large retailers reported higher than average sales growth, with Amazon’s sales up 29.5% and Costco’s up 41.7%.

Web-only retailers grew the fastest by 24.9% to $26.58 billion in 2008 from $21.29 billion in 2007, followed by chain retailers with growth of 22.4% from $3.08 billion in 2007 to $3.77 billion last year.

Catalog companies were up by 1.9% to $3.69 billion in 2008 from $3.62 billion in 2007. With only four manufacturers reporting so far, web sales dropped year over year by 8.1% to $178 million from $193.8 million.

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