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Last minute push is on: All the best to brick-and-mortar retailers in these final days before Christmas 2011 -- lets see margins improve. Online retail sales for the U.S. from November 1 through December 18 rose 15 percent year on year to $32 billion, according to metrics firm comScore Inc. The most recent week, four individual days surpassed the $1 billion mark for sales and pushed the seven-day cycle to a record $6.3 billion.
Gian Fulgoni, comScore's chairman, said, ''With only a few more days until Christmas, the preponderance of Americans’ late season holiday shopping will shift to brick-and-mortar retail, although the procrastinators among us will still be able to take advantage of expedited shipping and buy online up to and including the day before Christmas Eve with the guarantee of having their gifts delivered in time for the holiday. In total, we will see another $5 or $6 billion in e-commerce spending over the remainder of December to finish off what has clearly been an outstanding season for online retailers.''
What are U.S. consumers buying online in terms of jewelry? We captured "top selling" jewelry from HSN, ShopNBC, Amazon, Macy's, Sears and Saks. Unlike results from 2010, this year, the top sellers were of lower price points (the bulk of which were under the $200 mark) and featured simulants or lab-created gemstones to "give the look" of luxury without the cost. The optimistic approach to those observations should be that since consumers bought their trinket jewelry online, now they will visit your stores this week to be dazzled by amazing designer diamond jewelry and buy real diamonds for a special Christmas present.