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Survey: E-commerce sales to grow to $46.7 billion for holiday 2011

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City – E-commerce sales in the U.S. for the November and December holiday shopping season will rise 16.8% to $46.7 billion in 2011, up from $39.9 billion last year and representing a pace five times faster than total retail industry growth, according to eMarketer.

That means online sales growth will reach double digits for the third consecutive year, even though the economy remains shaky and consumers are keeping tight budgets.

“E-commerce has been insulated from the lingering effects of the recession and has even benefitted from price-conscious consumers’ reliance on the internet to save money,” said Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report, “Online Holiday Sales Forecast: Savings and Convenience Will Drive Strong Growth.”

By comparison, eMarketer said it believes total retail sales in the United States will see meager growth of about 3% this holiday season.

Strong online holiday spending will boost e-commerce sales to $195 billion for the year, up 16.5% over 2010, according to the report. Holiday sales will account for almost a quarter (23.9%) of online sales in 2011, underlining the importance that November and December have on many retailers’ annual e-commerce sales.

As a result of strong growth, e-commerce’s share of total retail sales is gradually increasing, with the biggest gains taking place during the holiday season. In 2010, e-commerce accounted for 5.7% of sales from January through October, but jumped to 7.4% for the holiday season, eMarketer estimated.

Online holiday sales will get a boost from smartphone and tablet users, Grau said.

“Mobile shoppers are having a noticeable influence on holiday sales,” added Grau. “Given the fast growth in device ownership — especially tablet ownership — it is likely that retailers will report significant online sales coming from mobile users this holiday season.”

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Premier Retail Networks names new president

BY CSA STAFF

SAN FRANCISCO — Ahmad Ouri has been named president of Premier Retail Networks, a global leader in digital place-based media services. Based in San Francisco, Ouri will oversee all PRN activities and lead the development and strategic growth of the company, which is wholly owned by Technicolor.

Ouri has held multiple senior positions with Technicolor since joining the company in 2002. Most recently, he served as chief marketing officer since December 2009. Previously at Technicolor, Ouri held positions as president of Technicolor Digital Cinema, chief technology officer, and president of the Technicolor Content Services business unit, overseeing worldwide post-production operations.

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Progress made in Argentina

BY CSA STAFF

BUENOS AIRES — Ezequiel Gómez Berard,CEO of Walmart Argentina, joined the Argentine PresidentCristina Fernández de Kirchner, Industry Minister Débora Giorigi, Economy Minister (Vice President elected) Amado Boudou, Osvaldo Mosteirin, Walmart Argentina CAO; Horacio Barbeito, Walmart Argentina CMO, and Hernán Carboni, Walmart director of corporate affairs, in the office of the Argentine President to discuss Walmart’s progress in Argentina.

During the meeting, Gómez Berardmade a presentation to the President on the progress achieved by Walmart Argentina’s program known as “Walmart 360: Hand in Hand with a Growing Argentina”, which drives – as its main objective – the purchase of Argentinean products by the other subsidiaries that Walmart has around the world.

In addition, the top executive showed the progress made in each of the pillars that sustain the program, namely:

  • Exports Program: With the purpose of generating international sales for USD 150 million during 2011, Walmart Argentina has encouraged the purchase of local products by Walmart International for a value of USD 113 million as of October, something which means that the commitment set forth last May was met by 75%, there still being 2 months left before the year is over. The sales include destinations like USA, Brazil, Mexico, Chile. The main external sales were groceries, meats, beverages and dairy.

  • PYME Program (or program focused on Small and Medium Sized Suppliers): Under a commitment taken on during 2011 to materialize sales from PYME suppliers for USD 9 million, and to incorporate some 40 new companies to the program, Walmart Argentina has generated, as of October, sales from PYME suppliers for USD 8.4 million, which means that the company´s objective has been met by 93%. In addition, the company has added some 44 new companies to the program and has held 6 editions of this program in the cities of Junín (Buenos Aires); Posadas (Misiones), Resistencia (Chaco), Tupungato, San Rafael and Guaymallén (Mendoza).

  • Program for Sustainable Agriculture: The company has determined, for the 2011 to 2015 period, to train 100% of fruit and vegetable producers and to certify 80% of small suppliers in agricultural best practices. In terms of training, this program has been met by 25% as of today. In addition, Walmart – that expects to double the quantity of suppliers from 50 to 100, has incorporated some 81 new suppliers and has started intense negotiations to increase the supply of sustainable fish by 10%.

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