ComScore: Compressed Holiday Sales Will Near $14 Billion

Non-travel online consumer sales will increase 27 percent over last year to $13.8 billion during the fourth-quarter 2002 holiday shopping season, comScore Networks predicted in a study released yesterday.

According to comScore, the peak online sales day in the upcoming holiday season will reach $350 million in non-travel sales, compared with $262 million for the highest online sales day in the 2001 holiday season. With the addition of travel spending, the peak sales day during holiday 2002 is likely to reach $500 million, comScore said.

The study said the online holiday shopping season will start Monday, Dec. 2, following “Black Friday” after Thanksgiving, which falls on the late date of Nov. 28 this year. Consumers typically wait until they get back to work, where they have the advantage of high-speed Internet access, before ordering online, according to comScore.

The online holiday shopping season will be further compressed by the need to order early so shipped gifts arrive on time, comScore said. Online holiday sales drop off around Dec. 20-21, whereas the retail holiday season typically lasts for a few days after that date.

Year-to-date combined travel and non-travel online consumer spending up to Aug. 18 was $44.3 billion compared with $25.6 billion in the same period last year, the study found.

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