Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Online Retailers Step Up Discount Offers

Online retailers stepped up discounting ahead of the deadline this week for most free shipping of Christmas gifts with guarantee of standard delivery. But they're not panicking -- overall, the holiday 2005 shopping season is shaping up well.

This week, consumers can expect to be hearing from retailers reminding them of all the strong promotions that they are offering," said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation in Washington. Online retailers, though, are "going to be pleasantly surprised. The level of optimism is quite high."

For the 39-day period ended Dec. 9, non-travel spending online surged 23 percent to $12.75 billion from a year ago, according to comScore Networks Inc. That's a bit below the Internet research company's forecast for a 24 percent gain for the season, but comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said that this week _the busiest for online retailers -- should make up for any shortfall.

On what is usually its busiest day of the year, FedEx delivered 8.5 million packages Monday, a 5 percent increase over the same day last year. [via Chicago Tribune]


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