Jewelry and luxury goods online post a 29 percent increase in November

Retail jewelry and luxury goods sites grew faster than any Internet category in November 2005, according to the latest monthly analysis from comScore Media Metrix.

While many retail subcategories saw significant growth thanks to the start of the holiday shopping season, jewelry and luxury goods led the list of top gaining categories with 39-percent growth over October 2005, yielding 16.4 million visitors in November.

“Consumers are investing an increasing amount of trust and discretionary dollars in the Web, as evidenced by the growth of sites where big ticket items are sold,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of comScore Media Metrix. “While sales on luxury goods sites are significant, most visitors use these sites to research a potential offline purchase, making it critically important for retailers to showcase their offerings online for current and future customers.”

Major winners within the Retail – Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories category were Coach.com, which topped the category with 2.71 million unique visitors, and Zales.com (1.72 million unique visitors), which used a heavy holiday advertising push to entice consumers.

Multi-channel retailers, retailers with a presence online and offline, helped the “Retail – Department Stores” category reach 62.1 million visitors in November on 21 percent growth, according to the Reston, Va.-based consumer research firm. The category was carried by Wal-Mart.com, which gained steam from an early holiday advertising push. The mega-retailer received 32.1 million unique visitors in November, up 54 percent from October. The site’s strong performance was boosted by Wal-Mart Movies (6.6 million visitors, up 435 percent) and Wal-Mart Electronics (7.8 million visitors, up 197 percent). Following Wal-Mart in the top position, the Department Store category was carried in November by Target Corporation (27.3 million visitors, up 25 percent), JCPenney Sites (14.8 million visitors, up 35 percent), and Sears.com (12.1 million visitors, up 42 percent).