Early study done by comScore, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOR, stock), a leader in measuring the digital world, showed U.S. online retail sales hit a record $26.29 billion from Nov. 1 through Dec. 21, up 19% from the year-ago ($22.04 billion in 2006). Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT, stock) warned late Monday that its same-store sales might decline for December, while a broad gauge of consumer spending released by Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA, stock), which includes estimates for spending by check and cash, reported on Tuesday an increase of 3.6 percent from Thanksgiving to Christmas, compared with a 6.6 percent gain in the year-ago period.
Thanks to free shipping, product discounts and retailers that opened earlier than normal hour the online spending could be higher pre and post Christmas. Toys “R” Us Inc. which opened its door two hours earlier at 8 a.m. on Wed is offering 40 percent price cuts on all MP3 and iPod accessories. Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M, stock) is offering 50 percent to 75 percent off cashmere sweaters, while Saks Fifth Ave. cut prices on fur coats by 40 percent to 60 percent. Electronics retailer Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY, stock) provided free shipping for all its online digital cameras sales.
Amazon.com Inc (Nasdaq: AMZN, stock) said five of the top 10 items on its electronics best-seller list are Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL, stock) iPod players. Meanwhile Buy.com reports strong sales of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT, stock) Zune and SanDisk Corp.’s (Nasdaq: SNDK, stock) Sansa players. It’s great to see the online commerce could generate additional $4 billion in sales despite the shadow of economy slowdown in US. So if you intend to invest some retailers stock, you’ve the above companies to choose from. Watch out for their earning announcements. And as usual you should know which my favorite amongst them is.