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Ecommerce Regains Double Digit Growth

By: Mike Sachoff

July retail sales in the U.S. remained generally flat in most categories compared to July 2009, according to a new report by MasterCard Advisors' Spending Pulse.

One bright spot was ecommerce, which has posted gains throughout 2010, and regained double digit growth in July, increasing 10.9 percent on a year-over-year basis, in contrast to June, when for the first time since November 2009 it had dipped into single digits.

In terms of ecommerce sub-categories, apparel ecommerce increased in double digits for the eighth consecutive month, up by 13.7 percent in July on a year-over-year basis, but smaller than the growth rate of 18.6 percent posted in June. Almost all of ecommerce sub-categories posted year-over-year growth, the exception being department stores, which was down by 1.9% following seven months of double digit growth. Family Apparel was up a robust 22.2% year over year.

"Overall, retail sales continued to tread water, following the pattern set with June's sales when consumers demonstrated a reluctance to make larger purchases, and instead, traded down," said Michael McNamara, Vice President, Research and Analysis for SpendingPulse,

"Particularly, we are noticing some weakness in industry sectors that rely on higher priced ticket items such as furniture and discretionary areas such as luxury and jewelry. We are also seeing this pattern echoed in the restaurant business, where we have seen consumers shift from full-service restaurants and particularly fine dining, to limited-service and quick-service outlets."

In July the electronics and appliances category posted its second month of year-over-year gains, growing by 1%, slightly smaller than June's 1.7% increase. Electronics sales were up by 0.8% in July, probably helped by new product launches, while appliance sales were up 1.8%. While some of the other housing-related sectors are down, the growth in appliance sales is a positive sign.

About the Author:
Mike is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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