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ComScore: Online retail spending up 15% to $41.9 billion in Q3

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — Online retail spending in the United States reached $41.9 billion in the third quarter, up 15% versus year ago, according to comScore. This represents the twelfth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

According to comScore’s quarterly online retail survey, 37% of U.S. consumers say they have engaged in “showrooming” behavior where they use a smartphone while in a retail store to check prices or to even purchase a product online. This represents an increase of 5% in the past two quarters.

“The Q3 growth rate of 15% growth remained in line with the prior quarter and provided confirmation of the strength in the e-commerce sector, despite a few negative headwinds in the macroeconomic environment during the quarter,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Such performance offers some optimism as we approach the holiday season, especially given recent improvements in consumer sentiment. With the housing market beginning to show signs of recovery in addition to increasing – if still underwhelming – job growth, there appears to be strong enough footing to support a very healthy online holiday shopping season.”

The survey also shows that despite a slow-moving economic recovery there has been marked improvement in consumer sentiment in the past quarter, although many consumers still remain challenged by economic conditions. Forty-eight percent of U.S. consumers now rate the economy as ‘poor,’ an 8% point improvement versus the prior quarter and the most pronounced improvement since early 2009 (following the worst of the financial crisis).

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Sears, Kmart tout celebrity partnerships for the holidays

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings is touting its affordable and exclusive lines from and partnerships with celebrity designers Sandra Lee, Jaclyn Smith and Ty Pennington to give it an edge this holiday season.

Kmart, along with Sandra Lee and Jaclyn Smith, is inviting consumers to "decorate it forward" — spread holiday cheer by sharing the gift of decorating and entertaining with family, friends and those in need. Decorating tips and inspiration to help others can be found www.kmart.com/DecorateItForward.

Fans of Lee and Smith can also enter to win one of two shopping sprees with the celebrity designers. One winner will join Lee on an exclusive Kmart holiday shopping trip in New York City where she’ll lend her decorating and entertaining expertise. Another winner will join Jaclyn Smith on an exclusive Kmart holiday shopping trip in Los Angeles where she’ll help style the winner’s home for the holidays. For official sweepstakes rules, visit www.kmart.com/decorateitforward or logon to www.SHOPYOURWAY.com and check out the Win Your Way application by Nov. 26 to enter to win.

Sears is working with Ty Pennington to help customers create the perfect holiday home.
One lucky winner will receive a home visit and makeover from Ty Pennington as Pennington and his crew decorates the winner’s home for the holidays. The home makeover will include outdoor lighting, as well as indoor decor to complete the look. The winner will also receive an auto tire package from Sears Auto Center including four new tires, alignment and balance service, as well as a $1,000 gift card to use towards the purchase of holiday apparel at Sears.

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Kohl’s enhances online shopping for the holidays

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Kohl’s Department Stores has launched its Kohls.com Holiday Gift Shop.

The online store features a number of options to enhance the shopper experience. Customers can shop by price, product category or gift recipient. An online listing tool allows customers to create customizable lists on their desktops, tablets or mobile devices and share personalized lists with others via email or social channels. With a new, convenient budget-tracking feature, shoppers can set a budget and stay on track as they add items to the list.

“We know our customers want to create the holiday of their dreams while staying within budget,” said Don Brennan, Kohl’s chief merchandising officer. “This season, we are making it easy and exciting for shoppers to find amazing and affordable gifts for everyone on their lists. Our Holiday Gift Shop lets customers customize their experience by helping plan their in-store shopping trips with the perfect list or choose items to buy online, whenever and wherever they want. With WiFi available in all Kohl’s stores by Black Friday, shoppers can also access and manage their lists on their tablets or mobile devices while they shop.”

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