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CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — Consumers spent $3.4 billion in online sales in February, up from $3 billion the month before, according to the latest NRF/ Forrester Online Retail Index.
The Index, developed by the National Retail Federation (NRF), Forrester Research and Greenfield Online, measures the growth and seasonality of online shopping based on data collected monthly from 5,000 online shoppers.
According the February Index, which was built from responses culled between March 1 and March 8, 2001, major appliances enjoyed the largest month-to-month increase, growing from $24 million in January to $44 million in February. Online sales of consumer electronics were also up, albeit less dramatically, from $179 million to $196 million month to month.
Among decliners, January-to-February sales of computer hardware dropped from $362 million to $304 million; video sales fell from $83 million to $52 million; computer software softened from $138 million to $111 million; and the combined video games and toys category dropped 31 percent from $125 million to $86 million.
Despite the setbacks, Internet analysts found reasons to be cheerful. "In light of the economic slowdown, we are pleased to see that the Internet continues to thrive as a consumer shopping channel," said Forrester's James McQuivey.
NRF president Tracy Mullin added, "Physical retailers were challenged in February by, among other things, bad weather in many parts of the country, which kept many consumers housebound. The online figures show strength in the very areas where physical stores were weakest [that] month, strongly suggesting that consumers embraced the multichannel approach in February to meet their buying demands."Consumer E-spending In February/Online sales in $ thousands
|All online sales||$3,358,313|
|Number of buyers||13,548|
|Average spent per consumer||$247.89|
|Source: National Retail Federation/Forrester Online Retail Index©TWICE 2001|
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