Online clothing sales top computer sales in 2006

Forrester Research Incorporated has released a report entitled "The State of Retailing Online 2007", which is the tenth edition in cooperation with the National Retail Federation's Shop.org network of 600 online retailers. Excluding travel, Forrester said that online retail sales will total $174.5 billion this year, up from $146.5 billion in 2006. The 2006 total represented 6% of all retail sales during that year, the report said. "This strong growth is an indicator that online retail is years away from reaching a point of saturation," said report author Sucharita Mulpuru.

The report found that in 2006, American consumers for the first time spent more money online buying clothes than computers. The report projected that online sales of apparel, accessories and footwear category will total $22.1 billion in 2007, up from $18.3 billion last year. The 2007 total will represent about 10% of all clothing sales during the year. The report said that clothing sales are increasing for a variety of reasons, including the fact that more companies are offering free shipping on product returns and exchanges as well as Web sites allowing customers to virtually manipulate the merchandise. Computer hardware and software, the top online category prior to 2006, garnered $17.2 billion in sales last year. The automobile and parts category was the third-largest segment, with online sales of $16.7 billion, while home furnishings followed with $10 billion.

News source: ComputerWorld

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