FINANCE

IBM: Online Christmas Day sales up 16.5%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Armonk, N.Y. — Overall Christmas Day online sales were up 16.5% from the same period last year. IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark data for Dec. 25, 2013 shows mobile traffic was the highest IBM recorded this holiday season, accounting for 48% of all online traffic, up 28.3% compared to the same period last year.

Mobile sales also remained strong, approaching 29% of all online sales, up 40% from 2012.

Smartphones drove 28.5% of all online traffic compared to tablets at 18.1%, making it the browsing device of choice. Tablets drove 19.4% of all online sales, more than twice that of smartphones, which accounted for 9.3%. Tablet users also averaged $95.61 per order, compared to smartphone users, who averaged $85.11 per order.

As a percentage of total online sales, iOS was more than five times higher than Android, driving 23% compared to 4.6% for Android. On average, iOS users spent $93.94 per order, nearly twice that of Android users, who spent $48.10 per order. iOS also led as a component of overall traffic with 32.6% compared to 14.8% for Android.

Shoppers referred from Facebook averaged $72.01 per order, compared to Pinterest referrals, which drove $86.83 per order. However, Facebook referrals converted sales at nearly four times the rate of Pinterest referrals, perhaps indicating stronger confidence in network recommendations.

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FINANCE

Report: Amazon, Macy’s among post-holiday winners

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Amazon.com and Macy’s reportedly look financially strong even in the wake of expected post-holiday discounting, while Sears, Kmart and J.C. Penney are not expected to be so fortunate. According to new analysis from 24/7 Wall St., Amazon.com should hold onto substantial holiday profits as long as free shipping does not impact its margins.

Macy’s and other retailers targeting the middle class are also expected to maintain holiday profits even after this week’s post-holiday sales. However, Sears, Kmart and J.C. Penney are three retailers expected to have difficulty getting rid of leftover holiday inventory even with extensive discounting, leading to potentially serious issues as the new year begins.

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Law firms investigate Jones Group purchase

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – At least four law firms are investigating the pending purchase of The Jones Group. The law office of Brodsky & Smith, LLC, Vincent Wong, Farugi and Farugi, LLP and Robbins Arroyo LLP are investigating potential claims against the board of directors of The Jones Group, Inc. relating to the proposed acquisition by Sycamore Partners.

The investigation concerns possible breaches of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law by the board of directors of The Jones Group for not acting in the company’s shareholders’ best interests in connection with the sale process. The investigation seeks to determine if The Jones Group board of directors failed to conduct an adequate auction process and whether Sycamore Partners is underpaying for The Jones Group shares.

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