FINANCE

comScore: Q1 digital spend hits $63.4 billion; desktop up 12%, mobile 23%

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — Desktop e-commerce spending in the first quarter of 2014 rose 12% year-over-year to $56.1 billion, marking the eighteenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and fourteenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, according to comScore. M-commerce spending on smartphones and tablets added $7.3 billion for the quarter, up 23% vs. year ago, for a digital commerce spending total of $63.4 billion in the first quarter.

Other highlights from the first quarter included:

• The top-performing online product categories were: apparel & accessories, consumer packaged goods, sport & fitness, digital content & subscriptions, and home & garden. Each category grew at least 13% vs. year ago.

• Desktop E-commerce accounted for 11.7% of consumers’ discretionary spending, the highest first quarter share on record.

• Of the additional $7.3 billion in mobile commerce (m-commerce), purchasing using smartphones accounted for 62% vs. 38% from tablets.

"Q1 e-commerce and m-commerce spending growth have seen a modest acceleration versus the fourth quarter, which is a positive sign in light of overall softness in consumer discretionary spending across the broader U.S. economy during the early part of the year," said comScore chairman emeritus Gian Fulgoni.

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News

Tesco pilots new, high-speed retail checkout solution

BY Marianne Wilson

London — British grocery giant Tesco is seeking to improve the customer checkout experience by piloting a new, high-speed retail checkout solution from NCR Corp. at its Tesco Extra 24-hour store in Lincoln, U.K. The solution uses innovative imaging technology from Datalogic that automatically finds the barcode on any side of the product without the need to orient the item on the conveyor belt. It is capable of scanning up to 60 items per minute, greatly speeding the transaction.

The Tesco Extra store has deployed four units. Each unit allows three shoppers to pack and pay at the same time. The solution is designed to reduces queuing, allowing customers to get out of the store more quickly, by increasing the rate at which items are scanned, packed and paid. It also allows customers to decide how they wish to use it and proceed at their own pace without the pressure of another customer waiting to check out. Customers can complete their shopping transaction using cash or payment cards, as well as scan their Tesco Clubcard or utilize coupons.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to support our colleagues to give great service and to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” said Nigel Fletcher, director, Tesco U.K. “We’re looking forward to seeing what our customers in Lincoln think of the new checkouts over the coming weeks and months.”

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REAL ESTATE

Costco opens in Spain

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Costco Wholesale Corp. has opened its first store in continental Europe, a 140,000-sq.-ft. location in Seville, Spain.

Costco will follow it up with a store in Madrid, according to media reports.

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