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Online holiday sales slowed from last year

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, online sales rose 21 percent in 2007, slower than the 26 percent growth recorded in 2006.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Online holiday sales rose 19 percent so far during the holiday season, but growth slowed from a year ago, according to ComScore Inc., which provides data and research about online consumer behavior.

From Nov. 1 to Dec. 27, online sales grew to $28 billion from $23.6 billion during the corresponding period in 2006, when sales saw a 26 percent increase from the previous year.

One reason for the slowdown: People may have been enjoying the sunshine outside rather than shopping online inside. ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement Sunday that warm weather in early November hurt sales, and it "played a role in holding down the growth in spending over the entire holiday."

But sales started to pick up deeper into the season. Sales rose 29 percent on Nov. 22, Thanksgiving Day. Sales were up 22 percent on "Black Friday," or Nov. 23, rose 21 percent the next Monday, known as "Cyber Monday" and rose 33 percent on Dec. 10, known as "Green Monday."

Also, spending more than doubled on the day after Christmas, reaching $545 million, compared to the same day last year, comScore said.

Fulgoni says that's "encouraging given the economic challenges facing consumers this year as a result of higher gas prices, lower home values and a jittery stock market.”

During the complete holiday season, which includes all of November and December, sales are expected to rise 20 percent to $29.5 billion, comScore predicted.