Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association

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Online sales up 23.8% in Q1, Commerce Department reports

Online retail sales in the first quarter reached $19.2 billion, up 23.8%
from Q1 a year ago, the Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of
Commerce reports. Total retail sales in the quarter reached $917 billion,
up 6.3% from Q1 a year ago, the Census Bureau says.

The Census Bureau reports that e-commerce accounted for 2.3% of
all retail sales in the quarter,

On a seasonally adjusted basis, e-commerce sales were $19.8 billion,
the Census Bureau says. That takes into account seasonal variations
and holiday and trading day differences, but not price differences, the
bureau says. Under that scenario, online sales were up 23.8% from a
year earlier but total retail sales were up 7.3%.

In a related announcement from comScore...

Online sales grow 29% for week ending May 8 to $1.5 billion

Online sales were up 29% for the week ending May 8 over the
corresponding week a year ago, reaching $1.5 billion from $1.17 billion,
comScore Networks Inc. reports.

By comparison, total retail sales for the week ending May 7 were up
10% from the same week a year ago, reports ShopperTrak’s National
Retail Sales Estimate.

Online travel sales for week ending May 8 were up 22% to $1.34
billion from $1.1 billion in the corresponding week a year ago, comScore reports.

In yet another announcement from London-based retail group...

Online sales in the U.K. grow 30% in April while all retail sales fall 1.3%

British consumers spent £1.4 billion online in April, 29.3% more than April a year
ago, reports the Interactive Media in Retail Group, a London-based trade
association for online retailers. The group has been tracking online sales since
April 2000 and sales have increased 1,500% since then.

The trade group says April’s growth was the highest increase in seven months.

By comparison, total retail sales in the U.K. declined 1.3% in April, according
to the British Retail Consortium. “April was another very tough month for retailers
and whilst the drop is partly exaggerated by the comparison with April 2004,
when Easter fell, the like-for-like figure is the worst since 1995,” said Kevin
Hawkins, director general of the British Retail Consortium.

"We have regularly observed over the past five years that when times are tough,
more shopping moves online, but April`s huge increase surprised us all, in light
of consumers` reluctance to part with their cash in the bricks-and-mortar stores,”
said Jo Tucker, IMRG`s managing director. “And we see the same effect when
economic conditions are particularly good; this also gives Internet shopping a
growth boost."

The Interactive Media in Retail Group`s numbers include online travel sales,
although the group does not report travel sales separately from retail.

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