CEO Roland Smith will retire and Troy Rice will oversee e-commerce as Office Depot’s new chief operating officer.
BizRate.com says online sales in the first quarter have grown 41.1% compared to a year ago, prompting an increased projection for 2002 sales. As a result, the firm has boosted its 2002 online sales forecast to $51.48 billion.
BizRate.com reports that the e-commerce industry is accelerating, not maturing or decelerating, according to new quarterly numbers. In Q1 of this year, online retail sales increased 41.1% to $11.6 billion, compared to $8.22 billion in the first quarter of 2001. This quarter’s increase also beat out growth for the last three quarters, which includes the holiday shopping season’s 35% increase. BizRate attributes the growth to consumers taking a stronger affinity to the convenience of shopping online. The research firm reports that there was a substantial increase in the volume of orders and also in the price per transaction: Online orders increased by 33.9% with 91.47 million purchases in Q1 2002, compared to 68.29 million purchases in Q1 of last year. The average online sale in Q1 2002 was $127 per purchase, up 5.3% from $120 during first quarter 2001.
Due to the Q1 performance increase, BizRate.com is adjusting its estimate for 2002 total online retail sales from 26% to 44%. Total online retail sales, which were $28.91 billion in 2000 and increased 24% to $35.87 billion in 2001, are now forecasted to rise 44% to $51.48 billion in 2002. BizRate’s former estimate, announced in October, was for a 26% increase to $45.22 billion for 2002.