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Yahoo, MSN Claim Rise in Year-on-Year Holiday Sales

Sales in its Yahoo's shopping area this holiday season rose 86 percent over last year, the company said.

Meanwhile, MSN said yesterday that visits to MSN's eShop rose 106 percent during the year's holiday season compared with last year.

Yahoo, which now calls itself “a leading enabler of Web transactions,” said the sales spurt was registered Nov. 23 through Dec. 24 on http://shopping.yahoo.com. Sales numbers were not mentioned by the Sunnyvale, CA, company.

“The holiday season is a critical period for Yahoo Shopping, and we are proud to announce that our Yahoo Shopping business has maintained extremely strong growth momentum,” Rob Solomon, vice president and general manager of Yahoo Shopping, said in a statement.

Dec. 10, a Monday, was the busiest day this holiday season for Yahoo. The second Monday of the month has been the biggest sales puller for Yahoo Shopping in the past two years, according to a trend noticed by the company.

High online sales and steep discounts made bargain shopping a main feature this year on Yahoo. This mirrors the offline world, where some retail chains have resorted to offering higher discounts than their catalog and Web stores.

Yahoo said top sellers in its shopping area this holiday were video game consoles, digital cameras, notebook computers, toys and apparel and footwear.

Copying bricks-and-mortar stores and myriad Web fronts of established retailers, Yahoo has debuted a post-holiday sale center. The store, also in the shopping area, features 50 percent to 75 percent discounts on merchandise from Gap Inc.'s Banana Republic and Old Navy, Campbell Soup Co.'s Godiva, Spiegel Inc.'s Eddie Bauer and Sony Corp.'s SonyStyle.

Yahoo's success follows a $436 million unsolicited bid it made for recruitment site HotJobs.com. TMP Worldwide, owner of job search service Monster.com and a rival to HotJobs.com, has until today to top the Yahoo bid.

For MSN eShop, the peak traffic day was Dec. 13, with three times the number of page views within 24 hours compared with the peak traffic day in 2000. The most popular gifts at MSN eShop were digital cameras, PDAs and MP3 players as well as movie-related and wireless products.

Like Yahoo, MSN is providing a post-holiday sales center at MSN eShop, including clearance racks and sales items, free-shipping offers and discounts on additional items with a purchase.

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