Emerald Business Systems Blog

Online Retailers Anticipate a Dreary Christmas

Posted in Online Business,Retail by ebs4pos on October 6, 2009

The leaves are just beginning to change color, but e-commerce companies are already starting to think about Christmas.

So far, it looks like a dreary one. Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore, the Web analytics firm that tracks e-commerce spending, predicted that online sales this holiday season might be flat. “I’d be delighted if the growth was around 5 percent, but I am worried that we’ll see it continue to go sideways for a while,” he said.

Even growth of 5 percent would be a big comedown from previous years. Before last year, when the holidays arrived on the heels of the financial crisis, growth had been 20 percent to 25 percent each season.

But last holiday season, sales fell 3 percent to $25.5 billion. That marked the first negative holiday season since 2001. And in the second quarter of this year, shoppers spent $30.2 billion online, down 1 percent from the year before.

Mr. Fulgoni said that if unemployment continues to rise, the housing market continues to suffer and the stock market retreats, “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see no growth over the holidays.”

As Stephanie Rosenbloom reported in The New York Times on Friday, offline retailers also expect sales to be flat this holiday season, which would be an improvement over the 2 percent decline last year.

via Online Retailers Anticipate a Dreary Christmas – Bits Blog – NYTimes.com.


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