NEW YORK — The rich are doing it more often. Getting wired, that is, according to fresh figures from Internet measurement service Nielsen/Net Ratings.
The trend marks a sharp reversal of a dynamic that had prevailed since 2000, which saw lower-income households, or those with annual incomes of less than $50,000, gaining Internet access more rapidly than their upper-income counterparts. (The country’s average household income is $55,000, based on the 2002 U.S. Census.) It’s a change reflecting both the shaky state of the U.S. economy and the Internet’s growing availability to white-collar workers in their workplaces, noted Lisa Strand, chief analyst and director of e-commerce at Milpitas, Calif.-based NetRatings.
"A computer and online access aren’t necessities like a phone is," Strand said. "The Internet isn’t close to saturating the low-income part of the population, but that group has had to put [certain] things on hold for a bit," she added. "A rebound in that sector will be closely correlated with a pickup in the economy."
Between this September and September 2001, there was a 20 percent surge in online access, either at home or at work, among people who live in households with annual incomes between $100,000 and $149,999. By comparison, there was an 11 percent increase in Internet access, among those in households with incomes ranging from $50,000 to $74,999, and just a 2 percent uptick in availability to those with earnings up to $24,999. Currently, about three times as many people go online from home than from work, but people at work tend to be more active users, Strand said.
The biggest share of online access is held by those in households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $99,999. It amounts to 30.7 percent of Net users, or roughly 37.3 million people. The second-largest share — 26.6 percent of users, or 32.3 million people — is marked by those in the $25,000 to $49,999 bracket. Those with household incomes ranging from $100,000 to $149,999 represent a significantly smaller, 12.3 percent, slice of the online audience, or 14.9 million surfers.
In another corner of cyberspace, there is growing evidence that e-tail is not a black hole, especially when teamed with effective sales promotions. A case in point: Yahoo’s "Biggest Fall Sale," a pre-holiday promotion held Oct. 6 to 9, brought more than 1,200 e-tailers and travel services a 30 percent gain in gross sales, on average, versus the comparable four-day period a week earlier. And on a smaller scale, a new fashion e-tail site, NoHoNY.com, is slated to go live today.The most-shopped categories during the Yahoo event included apparel and shoes; books, and home and garden. Nearly 200 e-tailers said their dollar volume soared more than fivefold during the event, versus a week earlier. Eddiebauer.com, for one, reported its sales surged more than sixfold, fueled by an online-only promotion offering all men’s and women’s sweaters at discounts of 25 to 40 percent. Washington, D.C., led the list of cities generating the most orders, followed by Boston and Cleveland.
At NoHoNY.com, founders Catherine M. Perebinossoff and Sara Rader will be mining a niche at the opposite end of the spectrum from megaportal Yahoo, offering goods from up-and-coming designers that are made in limited quantities, including some one-of-a-kind items. Among the merchandise available on the site will be accessories and apparel from Deborah Skell; accessories from Estala Gilboe; jewelry from Caroline Glemann and Hope Higbie, and handmade lamp shades from Cynthia Beebe.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye