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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 25, 2008 at 1:27 PM

Early holiday e-commerce numbers ugly, comScore says

The holiday retail season is just revving up, but comScore’s early read isn’t promising.

After analyzing the first 23 days of the November-December retail season – which apparently begins Nov. 1 – the research firm found an “unprecedented” 4 percent decline in spending versus the same period last year.

Total e-commerce sales so far this month, according to comScore (which excludes auto, travel and corporate spending), were $8.2 billion.

Gian Fulgoni, comScore’s chairman, said there are “dark clouds” hanging over consumers’ heads this holiday season despite the reprive from lower gas prices. From its holiday sales update today:

“With consumer confidence low and disposable income tight, the first weeks of November have been very disappointing, with online retail spending declining versus year ago. It’s also likely that some budget-conscious consumers are planning to wait to buy until later in the season to take advantage of retailers’ even more aggressive discounting.”

I wonder if consumers are also spending less online – and more offline – because going to the stores and shopping centers is a form of entertainment for people spending less on movies and travel. (As long as the shopping centers don’t feel like real-life police dramas …)

Comments | More in | Topics: Amazon.com

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