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U.S. Retailers Find Growth in Online Sales


U.S. economic indicators for retailers were down in first quarter of 2009, but online sales were an exception.

According to a survey by Forrester Research and Shop.org, U.S. online retail sales rose an average of 11 percent in the first three months of 2009.

Of the 80 companies studied, 58 percent saw online sales increases compared with the same quarter last year.

Looking further into the findings, 44 percent of the e-tailers reported increases of over 10 percent, 14 percent showed increases up to 10 percent, and 13 percent reported flat sales.

In the survey, about 70 percent of both consumer brand manufacturers and multichannel retailers reported online sales increases. However, Web-only merchants had a different situation. About six in 10 reported Web sales declines.

"It seems that consumer confidence is getting better," Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester analyst, told Bloomberg News. "Hopefully the worst is behind us."

Looking ahead, Citi Investment Research projects that U.S. retail e-commerce sales will grow 4.4 percent in 2009 to $141 billion—and jump to 16.5 percent growth in 2010.

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