Research firm comScore said Tuesday that the blizzard that socked the Northeastern United States with one to three feet of snow did not prevent holiday shoppers from going about their business: they just did it online instead. Retailers pulled in some $767 million in sales on December 19 and 20, up 13 percent from last year.
The full week also proved to be profitable: a one week sales record was set with shoppers spending some $6.8 billion online, up six percent from a year ago. Good news for retailers, some of which expressed concern that the timing of the snowstorm could have put a serious damper on what is traditionally the biggest shopping weekend before Christmas.
“Consumers have clearly continued to spend online later into the season this year,” comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said. “Retailers have been very aggressive with late season promotions while informing consumers that they could still get their purchases shipped in time for Christmas, and these tactics seem to be paying off.”
What also could be helping is anecdotal evidence that retailers are not panicking like they did last year, cutting prices early which in turn cuts into profits. I’ve heard quite a few shoppers complain that the deals “just aren’t as good as last year.” Well, this year retailers have gotten a lot smarter in managing inventories, thus meaning less overstock to get rid of at the end of the season.
So here’s a question for our Northeast US readers. Did you stay in and shop online?