Kmart, Yahoo report rise in online holiday shopping

Early post-Christmas reports from two major companies showed strong increases in holiday buying online this year. However, neither company released specific sales figures.

Kmart Corp. said this morning that its BlueLight.com e-commerce site posted a 1,000% jump in sales and 823% increase in traffic during this year's holiday season compared to 1999. The company measures the holiday season from Oct. 30 to Dec. 21 (the last day items could be purchased and guaranteed for Christmas delivery). Last year, Kmart ran its e-commerce operation as kmart.com.

Mid-December sales jumped markedly in several Midwest cities such as Chicago and Detroit, the company said in a statement, probably due to major snowstorms that hit the region.

Yahoo Inc. said this morning that its order volume nearly doubled in the U.S. this holiday season, while volumes outside the U.S. rose sixfold.

"Order volume nearly tripled to U.S.-based brand-name retailers who also have a physical retail store," Yahoo reported in a statement.

The top day for Yahoo Shopping this holiday season was Monday, Dec. 11.

Also this morning, DisneyStore.com, a division of the Walt Disney Internet Group, said its holiday-season revenue was up more than 85% vs. last year.

On Friday, Visa U.S.A. Inc. reported that its cardholders spent more than $2.5 billion on the Internet between Nov. 24 and Dec. 19, about double last year's total of $1.3 billion.

E-commerce spending among Visa users peaked Dec. 12, with more than $129 million in transaction volume, the company said in a press release. The company believes its card transactions are involved in more than half of all U.S. consumer e-commerce spending.

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