Online spending stays strong in early December

Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:51pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Online spending remained strong in early December, a period that usually marks a lull in the U.S. holiday shopping frenzy, comScore said on Sunday.

For the week ending December 9, consumers spent $5.9 billion online, up 15 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to comScore, which tracks Internet activity.

E-commerce spending for the first 39 days of the 2011 holiday season reached $24.6 billion, also up 15 percent versus the corresponding days last year, comScore added.

Earlier in the season, the day that has become known as "Cyber Monday" saw a record $1.25 billion spent online in the United States, up 22 percent from last year. Other early season shopping days were also strong, with "Black Friday" e-commerce sales jumping 26 percent from a year ago.

That sparked concern that sales could weaken later in the season, but so far that has not happened, comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said on Sunday.

"These highlights represent another very positive sign for the holiday shopping season, as the week following 'Cyber Week' often experiences relative softness in spending momentum due to retailers pulling back on their promotional activity," he said.

'GREEN MONDAY'

The latest data suggests a "strong finish" to the holiday shopping period online this year, Fulgoni added.

This coming week is usually the busiest for online retailers, beginning with "Green Monday," a term coined by eBay in 2007 to describe the Monday occurring around the second week of December, which has tended to be among the heaviest online spending days of the year.   Continued...