December 6, 2004, 12:00 AM

November online sales rise 19% to $8.8 billion, e-Spending Report says

Online consumers spent $8.8 billion in November, up 19% from $7.4 billion a year ago, according to the annual Holiday eSpending Report. Apparel led with $1.5 billion in sales, followed by toys/video games with $1 billion and video/DVD with $882 million.

Online consumers spent $8.8 billion in November, up 19% from $7.4 billion a year ago, according to the Holiday eSpending Report from Goldman Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive and Nielsen/NetRatings. Apparel led with $1.5 billion in sales, followed by toys/video games with $1 billion, video/DVD with $882 million, books with $621 million and music with $481 million.

“We remain enthusiastic about the start of this holiday season, as several categories saw substantial revenue increases,” says Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst, Nielsen/NetRatings. “The growth in 2004 holiday revenue suggests that consumers are shifting more dollars to the Internet this season.” The $8.8 billion in November online sales is a 62% increase from November 2002’s total of $5.5 billion.

Although apparel accounted for the most November online sales in a single category, online sales of toys and video games (including hardware and software) grew the fastest over November of last year, rising 43%. The video/DVDs category (including hardware and software) rose at the second-highest rate, 39%, followed by music, 32%.

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