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US Online Sales Up

In dark days, e-commerce shines.

Most US economic indicators were down in Q1 2009, but online sales were an exception.

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

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

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

In the survey, about 70% 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 US retail e-commerce sales will grow 4.4% in 2009 to $141 billion—and jump to 16.5% growth in 2010.

Could happy days be here—at least online—again? Maybe not for Web-only retailers.

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