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BJ’s Hits the Web

BJ’s Wholesale Club, Natick, Mass., unveiled its first on-line store last month in time for the holidays. The site, featuring items that are not sold at its bricks-and-mortar stores, offers electronics, jewelry and gifts. All BJ’s members can shop BJs.com and, for a limited time, non-members can do the same for free.

“We are proud to deliver an on-line shopping solution that complements our in-club shopping experience and enhances the value of BJ’s membership,” said Herb Zarkin, chairman and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club.

As a part of the initial launch, BJ’s is offering a 41.21-carat total-weight diamond necklace, with 68 diamonds, for $249,999.99.

Shop While You Work

Most e-commerce shopping happens during work hours, according to CyberSource Corp., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of electronic-payment and risk-management solutions. The peak shopping hour during a recent high-volume week (Dec. 3-9, 2006) was 1 p.m. PST, 4:00 p.m. EST. On-line transactions typically hit their low point between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. PST (2:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. EST).

The highest volume on-line shopping days are Mondays and Tuesdays, with Saturday and Sunday typically showing the lowest volumes, the company said.

“On-line shopping is not only getting bigger, it’s becoming more of a 24-hour phenomenon,” said Doug Schwegman, CyberSource director of market and customer intelligence.

For example, for the period Dec. 3-9, 2004, the difference between the lowest and highest number of transactions was roughly 300%. In 2006, that difference has decreased to approximately 160%.

“We believe several factors are at work: first is the widespread availability of broadband that allows people to conveniently shop from home, and second is the globalization of e-commerce,” he said.

The growing popularity of buying digital goods also increases the number of shoppers from other time zones shopping at U.S. sites, CyberSource reported.

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