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Green Monday Sales Top $1 Billion

Third heaviest e-commerce day of the holiday season falls just short of Dec. 5.

E-commerce sales jumped 18.8 percent on Green Monday, Dec. 12, giving the U.S. its seventh billion-dollar day of Internet buying activity this holiday season as compared to just one, Cyber Monday, last year.

This story first appeared in the December 15, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Reston, Va.-based ComScore reported Wednesday that Green Monday sales hit $1.13 billion, up from $954 million in 2010. This positions the day — the second Monday in December and historically the peak for online spending — as the third heaviest day for online shopping, behind only Cyber Monday, which this year fell on Nov. 28, and the first Monday of December. This year, Cyber Monday sales were up 21.7 percent, to $1.25 billion, while Dec. 5 sales rose 24.1 percent to $1.17 billion.

Gian Fulgoni, chairman of ComScore, noted that Green Monday “kicks off what should be the heaviest week of the year for online shopping, where we could see several billion-dollar spending days, punctuated by Free Shipping Day on Friday, Dec. 16.” He noted that Cyber Monday online sales have exceeded those for Green Monday for the past three years, “demonstrating the degree to which retailer promotions and consumer awareness have grown the popularity of the Monday after Thanksgiving Day as the day to be buying online.”

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The strength of Green Monday this year kept growth in online spending for the holiday season comfortably in the double-digit domain. Sales for the season, beginning on Nov. 1 and running through Dec. 12, are up 15.3 percent to $26.82 billion from $23.27 billion for the comparable days last year, according to ComScore. In the week ended Dec. 11, online sales were up 15.2 percent to $6.11 billion.

In addition to Cyber Monday, Green Monday and Dec. 5, the other billion-dollar online spending days this season were the two days after Cyber Monday, Nov. 29 and 30, as well as Dec. 6 and Dec. 8.

ComScore also provided a list of the 10 top product categories for online sales growth this holiday, with digital content and subscriptions topping the list, followed by jewelry and watches. Apparel and accessories occupied the ninth spot on the list. ComScore didn’t provide either the growth rate or the sales totals for these categories but indicated that each of the top 10 group had grown “at least the rate of total retail e-commerce growth” of 15.3 percent. Consumer electronics, video games, computer software and toys occupied the third through sixth slots, followed by sports/fitness and computer hardware. Event tickets followed apparel in the final spot of the top 10.