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Retailers see online holiday sales climb

Shoppers spent 13% more from Nov. 1 to Dec. 12 than in the same period last year, a report says.

December 21, 2009|By Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Online retail sales are up this holiday shopping season, along with overall sales of men's apparel, shoes and electronics, according to SpendingPulse, a service of MasterCard Advisors.

From Nov. 1 to Dec. 12, online retailers recorded a 13% increase in sales compared with the same period last year, according to SpendingPulse, which tracks sales by credit card, cash and check.

Sales of women's clothing dropped a bit, but spending on garb for men rose 1.1%, according to the data. Sales of men's clothing picked up after Black Friday.

Sales of electronics slowed over the first two weeks of December after four straight weeks of growth in November, SpendingPulse said, ending the period up 4.4%.

Jewelry rose 0.7% from a year earlier, SpendingPulse said.

Performance among specialty apparel stores, including Gap and American Eagle Outfitters, was down 3.2%. Women's apparel sales were down 3% year-over-year, SpendingPulse said.

Drops in sales of women's apparel and specialty apparel can be attributed partly to the recession and, in part, to significant winter storms across the northern region of the U.S. that took place in the first half of December, Michael McNamara, SpendingPulse's vice president of research and analysis, said in a statement.

The company also tracks spending from Black Friday onward. From that day, Nov. 27, through Dec. 12, sales of footwear and men's clothing strengthened, while other sectors remained about the same or weakened slightly from the same period last year.

Overall sales figures were not included in the report.


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