Online Spending Broke $2B Post-Thanksgiving Week, Comscore Says

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Consumers spent a record $2 billion online in the week after Thanksgiving, a 34 percent increase over the same week last year, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore Networks.

Spending on non-travel-related goods and services rose 38 percent to $1.4 billion in the week ending Dec. 6, while travel-related purchases increased 24 percent to $567 million, the Reston, VA, company said yesterday.

ComScore, which claims it reaches its findings by monitoring the behavior of a volunteer panel of 1.5 million Internet users, also said that consumer online spending from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6 was $8.2 billion, up 29 percent from last year. Non-travel-related sales rose 17 percent over a year ago to $5.2 billion, and travel-related spending was up 58 percent to $3 billion, comScore reported.

In other comScore findings, the fastest-growing sales category from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6 was home and garden products, up 72 percent to $328 million. Sports and fitness was the second-fastest growing, up 67 percent to $153 million.

Particularly noteworthy, comScore said, was that online jewelry and watch sales rose $121 million from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6, up 66 percent from the same period last year.

The increase "indicates that consumers are now more comfortable buying products that were more likely to be reserved for offline stores because of price, style and quality concerns," Michelle Adams, vice president, comScore, said in the report.

Included in comScore's findings for online sales from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6 were:

· Toys, $257 million, up 61 percent

· Furniture and appliances, $106 million, up 51 percent

· Movies and videos, $133 million, up 41 percent

· Video games, $81 million, up 38 percent

· Apparel and accessories, $902 million, up 26 percent

· Flowers and gifts, $123 million, up 19 percent

· Event tickets, $167 million, up 14 percent.

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