APPAREL SOARS ON ‘NET

NEW YORK — Apparel has broken into the top e-three.
Cybershoppers shelled out $1.1 billion to buy apparel on the Internet during November and December — making it the third-most-popular item to obtain online for holiday 2000 and helping to propel the season’s e-transactions with U.S. consumers to $12.2 billion, according to the first figures to be issued on the Internet’s sales for the period.
That data was disclosed Tuesday by The NPD Group, based on its latest e-Visory Report, a survey of 2,439 Net users. NPD, a Port Washington-based market researcher, noted the season’s aggregate sales figure marked nearly a twofold leap over e-sales during holiday 1999. Most research houses put 1999 online holiday sales somewhere between $6.5 billion and $10 billion.
Apparel was topped only by travel reservations, whose sales tallied $2.6 billion online for holiday, NPD found, and by computer hardware and peripherals, with $1.2 billion. The six hottest items to buy on the Net — including toys, consumer electronics and books — together accounted for 60 percent of e-sales during holiday 2000, or roughly $7.3 billion. Auctions and financial services added another 12 percent. Apparel alone kicked in 9 percent of the online dollar volume.

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