Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Click Away: Holiday Web Shopping Bounces Back

jingleI don’t get “Black Friday,” and I don’t get the people who actually spend Black Friday at the mall. (Also, when did “doorbuster” become part of the argot? I missed the memo on that one.) I do get the people who do their holiday shopping online, though, and there are more of them every day.

Here are the latest numbers from comScore (SCOR), which says that online holiday shopping is up a bit this year. That’s not saying a lot considering that last year’s sales were soft. But for the record, sales are up three percent so far, and Web sales were up 11 percent on Black Friday.

comscore black friday 2009

But note that consumers say they’re spending less overall than they did less year: They told interviewers they intend to spend eight percent less than in 2008.

Not surprisingly, people spent a whole lot of time on the Web’s most popular retail sites on Friday: Traffic at Amazon (AMZN), Wal-Mart (WMT), Apple (AAPL), Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY) sites were all up, comScore reports.

Next up: Dutiful reporting on “Cyber Monday,” tomorrow’s artificial construct. Still, I’m not complaining. This is way better than trudging out to the mall for the annual “interview of shoppers in a parking lot” piece that newspapers still insist on assigning.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work