*Amazon, Toys 'R' Us Lead E-Tailers for Holiday Season, Study Finds

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Amazon.com and Toys 'R' Us led all e-tailers during the holiday shopping season with close to six times more visits than their next closest competitor, Nielsen//NetRatings said yesterday.

Through their partnership, Amazon and Toys 'R' Us had 123 million shopping visits. The Nielsen//NetRatings Holiday E-Commerce Index measures shopping trips to e-commerce sites in eight product categories by 62,000 at-home users and 8,000 at-work users.

EToys.com ranked second with 21.12 million visits.

"In total, established offline brands account for 11 of the top 15 holiday e-tailers," said Sean Kaldor, vice president of e-commerce at NetRatings. "Strong brand awareness, millions of loyal customers and proven retailing savvy led to the success of brick-and-mortars this year."

Dell, the largest brick-and-mortar retailer, came in third with 21 million visits. Barnes & Noble followed in fourth place with 20.25 million visits, and cdnow.com placed fifth with 20.02 million visits. After a slow start following the launch of its revamped Web site, Walmart.com was sixth with 18.01 million visits.

Rounding out the top 10 e-tailers were hp.com, seventh, 15.63 million visits; buy.com, eighth, 14.53 million; jcpenney.com, ninth, 14.46 million; and bestbuy.com, tenth, with 12.48 million.

Falling outside the top 10 were hallmark.com, bluelight.com, ubid.com, sears.com and target.com.

Nielsen//NetRatings excluded travel, ticketing, auctions, financial services and shopping aggregators, including online malls and comparison shopping sites.

The eight product categories included in the index were specialty gifts; toys and games; apparel; consumer electronics; virtual department stores; value-oriented sites; books, music and videos; and computer hardware.

The fastest-growing category was specialty gifts, which jumped 264 percent for the week ending Dec. 17. Toys and games rose 138 percent for the week ending Dec. 3.

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