They Keep Growing ... and Growing

The government reports that retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter were up about 24% from a year ago.


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Posted August 23, 2002

Beth Cox

There's lots of competition and not everyone has figured out how to make retail work online, but e-commerce, like a certain bunny, just keeps going and going - to the tune of more than $10 billion in U.S. sales for the second quarter.

That's according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which says that second-quarter 2002 retail e-commerce sales were an estimated $10.243 billion, an increase of about 24 percent from the second quarter of 2001.

Of course, there's still a lot of room before Internet sales even begin to approach a significant chunk of the grand total. The report, put out by the Census Bureau, says that total retail sales for the period were an estimated $825.5 billion, an increase of about 2.5 percent from the same period a year ago.

But it's clear that e-commerce continues to capture an ever larger slice of the pie. The second quarter 2002 e-commerce sales estimate increased 3.7 percent from the estimate for the first quarter of 2002. First quarter estimated sales were $9.849 billion

The figures from the Commerce Department's Census Bureau are based on a survey of about 11,000 retailers and then extrapolated. The government figures for some reason exclude estimates for some popular online purchases, such as airline and concert tickets and spending at online brokerages.

The Census Bureau defines e-commerce sales as sales of goods and services where an order is placed by the buyer or price and terms of sale are negotiated over the Internet, an extranet, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) network, electronic mail, or other online system. Payment may or may not be made online.

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